Differences Between Germ-Line Stem Cells and Multipotent Adult Germ-Line Stem Cells for MicroRNAs
Testes-derived male germ-line stem cells exhibit spermatogenic potential or multipotency depending on the culture conditions used for their isolation and in vitro maintenance. While unipotent male germ-line stem (GS) cells has the potential to repopulate the empty seminiferous tubules of infertile males, multipotent adult germ-line stem (maGS) cells have the ability to differentiate into cells of all three germ layers for their application in regenerative medicine. Unfortunately, co-existence of both types of stem cells in a cell population may limit their bio-medical, clinical and research application. In particular, testicular transplantation of GS cells with contaminating maGS cells may result in teratoma formation. Recent studies have revealed that endogenous small non-coding microRNA (miRNA) play important roles in the conversion of GS cells into maGS cells and may form a miRNA signature that may be used as a molecular tool to distinguish the GS cells from maGS cells. This chapter describes the biogenesis and functions of miRNAs in the context of testes-derived male germ-line stem cells and discusses their potential application in distinguishing the unipotent GS cells from the multipotent maGS cells.
KeywordsEmbryonic Stem Cell miRNA Gene Mouse Testis Male Germ Cell Round Spermatid
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