Cell Cycle in Development

Part of the series Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation pp 459-472


Cell Cycle Regulation by microRNAs in Stem Cells

  • Yangming WangAffiliated withThe Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University Email author 
  • , Robert BlellochAffiliated withThe Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California San FranciscoCenter for Reproductive Sciences, University of California San FranciscoDepartment of Urology, University of California San Francisco

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The ability to self-renew and to differentiate into at least one-cell lineage defines a stem cell. Self-renewal is a process by which stem cells proliferate without differentiation. Proliferation is achieved through a series of highly regulated events of the cell cycle. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short noncoding RNAs whose importance in these events is becoming increasingly appreciated. In this chapter, we discuss the role of miRNAs in regulating the cell cycle in various stem cells with a focus on embryonic stem cells. We also present the evidence indicating that cell cycle-regulating miRNAs are incorporated into a large regulatory network to control the self-renewal of stem cells by inducing or inhibiting differentiation. In addition, we discuss the function of cell cycle-regulating miRNAs in cancer.