MicroRNAs (miRNA) play an important role in self-renewal and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells by modulating expression of some key transcription factors, receptors, and some specific proteins related to the developmental process.OBJECTIVE:
To discuss the regulatory roles of miRNAs in self-renewal and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.METHODS:
PubMed database, Elsevier database and Nature database were retrieved with key words “msenchymal stem cells (MSCs), microRNA (miRNA)” for papers published from December 2000 to November 2011 in Chinese and English. A total of 84 papers were retrieved, and 64 of which were included in the final analysis.RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
MicroRNAs are endogenous 21-25nt short non-coding RNAs that can posttranscriptionally modulate gene expression by binding to the 3'-untranslated region of their target genes. Mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated from bone marrow, adipocyte tissue, cord blood and umbilical cord, and are capable of differentiating into multilineage cell types, such as osteoblasts, chondroblasts, adipocytes, myoblasts and neuroblasts. Recently, studies show that microRNAs play an important role in regulating proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells by modulating expression of some specific transcription factors and genes related to the developmental process.