The Role of microRNAs in Animal Cell Reprogramming
STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT 2016, 25(14):1035-1049
Cruz-Santos MC, Aragon-Raygoza A, Espinal-Centeno A, Arteaga-Vazquez M, Cruz-Hernandez A, Bako L, Cruz-Ramirez A

Our concept of cell reprogramming and cell plasticity has evolved since John Gurdon transferred the nucleus of a completely differentiated cell into an enucleated Xenopus laevis egg, thereby generating embryos that developed into tadpoles. More recently, induced expression of transcription factors, oct4, sox2, klf4, and c-myc has evidenced the plasticity of the genome to change the expression program and cell phenotype by driving differentiated cells to the pluripotent state. Beyond these milestone achievements, research in artificial cell reprogramming has been focused on other molecules that are different than transcription factors. Among the candidate molecules, microRNAs (miRNAs) stand out due to their potential to control the levels of proteins that are involved in cellular processes such as self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation. Here, we review the role of miRNAs in the maintenance and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, epimorphic regeneration, and somatic cell reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells.

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