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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 14346-14373; doi:10.3390/ijms140714346

Regulatory Non-Coding RNAs in Pluripotent Stem Cells

1
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
2
Laboratory of Molecular Vertebrate Embryology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 May 2013 / Revised: 25 June 2013 / Accepted: 2 July 2013 / Published: 11 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation by non-coding RNAs 2013)
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Abstract

The most part of our genome encodes for RNA transcripts are never translated into proteins. These include families of RNA molecules with a regulatory function, which can be arbitrarily subdivided in short (less than 200 nucleotides) and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). MicroRNAs, which act post-transcriptionally to repress the function of target mRNAs, belong to the first group. Included in the second group are multi-exonic and polyadenylated long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), localized either in the nucleus, where they can associate with chromatin remodeling complexes to regulate transcription, or in the cytoplasm, acting as post-transcriptional regulators. Pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), represent useful systems for modeling normal development and human diseases, as well as promising tools for regenerative medicine. To fully explore their potential, however, a deep understanding of the molecular basis of stemness is crucial. In recent years, increasing evidence of the importance of regulation by ncRNAs in pluripotent cells is accumulating. In this review, we will discuss recent findings pointing to multiple roles played by regulatory ncRNAs in ESC and iPSCs, where they act in concert with signaling pathways, transcriptional regulatory circuitries and epigenetic factors to modulate the balance between pluripotency and differentiation.
Keywords: embryonic stem cells; induced Pluripotent Stem Cells; microRNA; long non-coding RNA; pluripotency; reprogramming embryonic stem cells; induced Pluripotent Stem Cells; microRNA; long non-coding RNA; pluripotency; reprogramming
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Rosa, A.; Brivanlou, A.H. Regulatory Non-Coding RNAs in Pluripotent Stem Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 14346-14373.

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