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北京生命科学研究所:Dr. Robert Blelloch


Robert BlellochPh.D.

Assistant Professor

Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of California, San Francisco


MicroRNAs in the switch between ESC self-renewal and differentiation


Shaorong Gao, Ph.D


In the absence of microRNAs, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have two profound phenotypes.
First, their proliferation rate is reduced in part due to an accumulation of cells at the G1/S restriction point.
Second, they fail to silence the self-renewal program when induced to differentiation.
Thereintroduction of a specific family of microRNAs that are highlyexpressed in ESCs can partially rescue the proliferation defect bysuppressing inhibitors of the G1/S.
These same microRNAs can also promote the de-differentiation of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells.
Thereintroduction of another family of microRNAs that are not expressed inES cells, but are expressed broadly in differentiated tissues, has theopposite effect, promoting the differentiation of ESCs.
Inhibition of this family enhances de-differentiation.
Basedon these findings of ours we propose that these two families ofmicroRNAs act to stabilize the alternative fates of self-renewal anddifferentiation.