microRNA control of mouse and human pluripotent stem cell behavior

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2013;29:213-239. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-101512-122343. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


In the past decade, significant progress has been made in understanding both microRNA function and cellular pluripotency. Here we review the intersection of these two exciting fields. While microRNAs are not required for the establishment and maintenance of pluripotency in early development and cell culture, respectively, they are critically important in the regulation of the cell cycle structure of pluripotent stem cells as well as the silencing of the pluripotency program upon differentiation. Pluripotent cells, both in vivo and in vitro, dominantly express a single family of microRNAs, which can promote the reprogramming of a somatic cell back to a pluripotent state. Here, we review the known mechanisms by which these and other microRNAs regulate the different aspects of the pluripotent stem cell program in both mouse and human.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs