Concise review: MicroRNA expression in multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells

Uma Lakshmipathy, Ronald Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells, or multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), isolated from various adult tissue sources have the capacities to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple lineages. Both of these processes are tightly regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Emerging evidence indicates that the class of single-stranded noncoding RNAs known as microRNAs also plays a critical role in this process. First described in nematodes and plants, microRNAs have been shown to modulate major regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotic cells involved in a broad array of cellular functions. Studies with various types of embryonic as well as adult stem cells indicate an intricate network of microRNAs regulating key transcription factors and other genes, which in turn determine cell fate. In addition, expression of unique microRNAs in specific cell types serves as a useful diagnostic marker to define a particular cell type. MicroRNAs are also found to be regulated by extracellular signaling pathways that are important for differentiation into specific tissues, suggesting that they play a role in specifying tissue identity. In this review, we describe the importance of microRNAs in stem cells, focusing on our current understanding of microRNAs in MSC and their derivatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation
  • Human mesenchymal stem cells
  • MicroRNA
  • Review

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