16. Pluripotency and Early Cell Fate Decisions are Orchestrated by microRNAs

  1. Saura C. Sahu
  1. Matthias Jung1 and
  2. Insa S. Schroeder2

Published Online: 6 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118695999.ch16

microRNAs in Toxicology and Medicine

microRNAs in Toxicology and Medicine

How to Cite

Jung, M. and Schroeder, I. S. (2013) Pluripotency and Early Cell Fate Decisions are Orchestrated by microRNAs, in microRNAs in Toxicology and Medicine (ed S. C. Sahu), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118695999.ch16

Editor Information

  1. Division of Toxicology, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatic medicine, Martin Luther University, Germany

  2. 2

    Department of Biophysics, GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 7 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118401613

Online ISBN: 9781118695999



  • cell fate decisions;
  • embryonic stem (ES) cell identity;
  • induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells;
  • microRNAs;
  • pluripotency


The use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells expand the opportunities to study diseases, as patient-derived iPS cells help to analyze the disease process at a cellular level allowing accessing the influence of factors such as genetic predisposition. In both, the maintenance of pluripotency and in the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to cells of various tissues, microRNAs (miRs), small RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides (nts) in length, play an important role. This chapter describes biogenesis and function of miRs. It discusses how they influence embryonic stem (ES) cell identity, induced pluripotency, and cell fate decisions. Human and mouse miRs are shown in relation to signaling pathways for the induction of pluripotency in somatic cells, for the maintenance of pluripotent ES cells, and for the early differentiation of pluripotentstem cells. MicroRNAs are involved in silencing of the ES cell program by the repression of pluripotency-associated genes during induction of differentiation.