MicroRNAs in development, stem cell differentiation, and regenerative medicine

Betty Chang, Ihor R. Lemischka, Christoph Schaniel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mammalian development and cellular differentiation are robust but tightly controlled processes. MicroRNAs have emerged as key players in posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression during development and cellular differentiation. As analytical tools advance from cloning techniques to microarrays and most recently to massively parallel deep sequencing technologies, the space of known microRNAs and their target mRNAs is better defined and is leading to a comprehensive catalog combined with functional characterization. Several tissue- and cell-lineage-specific microRNAs have been identified, some of which are associated with distinct stages of cell identity from stem to progenitor to terminally differentiated cells. We describe the important functional roles of some of these microRNAs as exemplified by the ability of their exogenous expression to elicit changes in cell fate and discuss how, with this knowledge, we can dispense with genetic manipulation and begin to harness the advantage of microRNAs, microRNA mimics, microRNA antagonists (antagomirs), antisense RNA, siRNA, and alike molecules as tools for regenerative medicine and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulatory RNAs
Subtitle of host publicationBasics, Methods and Applications
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9783642225178
ISBN (Print)3642225160, 9783642225161
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • development
  • differentiation
  • microRNAs
  • regenerative medicine
  • stem cells


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