MicroRNA expression pattern of undifferentiated and differentiated human embryonic stem cells

Uma Lakshmipathy, Brad Love, Loyal A. Goff, Rebecka Jörnsten, Ralph Graichen, Ronald P. Hart, Jonathan D. Chesnut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Many of the currently established human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines have been characterized extensively in terms of their gene expression profiles and genetic stability in culture. Recent studies have indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of noncoding small RNAs that participate in the regulation of gene expression, may play a key role in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Using both microarrays and quantitative PCR, we report here the differences in miRNA expression between undifferentiated hES cells and their corresponding differentiated cells that underwent differentiation in vitro over a period of 2 weeks. Our results confirm the identity of a signature miRNA profile in pluripotent cells, comprising a small subset of differentially expressed miRNAs in hES cells. Examining both mRNA and miRNA profiles under multiple conditions using cross-correlation, we find clusters of miRNAs grouped with specific, biologically interpretable mRNAs. We identify patterns of expression in the progression from hES cells to differentiated cells that suggest a role for selected miRNAs in maintenance of the undifferentiated, pluripotent state. Profiling of the hES cell "miRNA-ome" provides an insight into molecules that control cellular differentiation and maintenance of the pluripotent state, findings that have broad implications in development, homeostasis, and human disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1016
Number of pages14
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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