MicroRNAs in embryonic stem cell function and fate

Gustavo Tiscornia, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Since their discovery in the early 1990s,microRNAs (miRs) have gone from initially being considered an oddity to being recognized as a level of gene expression regulation that is integral to the normal function of cells and organisms. They are implicated in many if not all biological processes in animals, from apoptosis and cell signaling to organogenesis and development. Our understanding of cell regulatory states, as determined primarily by transcription factor (TF) profiles, is incomplete without consideration of the corresponding miR profile. The miR complement of a cell provides robust and redundant control over the output of hundreds of possible targets for each miR. miRs are common components of regulatory pathways, and in some cases can constitute on-off switches that regulate crucial fate decisions. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge about the biogenesis and regulation of miRs and describe their involvement in the pathways that regulate cell division, pluripotency, and reprogramming to the pluripotent state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2732-2741
Number of pages10
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • MicroRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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