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Stem Cells. 2014 May;32(5):1059-66. doi: 10.1002/stem.1629.

Concise review: MicroRNAs as modulators of stem cells and angiogenesis.

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Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College of London, London, United Kingdom.


MicroRNAs (miRs) are highly conserved, short noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate messenger RNA (mRNA) stability and/or translational efficiency. Since a given miR can control the expression of many mRNAs, their importance in governing gene expression in specific cell types including vascular cells and their progenitor cells has become increasingly clear. Understanding how the expression of miRs themselves is regulated and how miRs exert their influence on post-transcriptional gene control provides novel opportunities to dissect gene regulatory networks in clinically relevant cell types. A multitude of miRs have been identified with key roles in vascular development, homeostasis, function, disease, and regeneration. In this review, we will describe the impact of miRs on angiogenesis and their capacity to modulate the behavior of stem and progenitor cells which may be utilitarian for promoting vascular growth in ischemic tissue. Moreover, we summarize these strategies available for modulating miR expression and function and future therapeutic applications.


Angiogenesis; Cellular therapy; Differentiation; Embryonic stem cells; Endothelial cell; Endothelial differentiation; Vascular Progenitor cells; miRNA

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