Concise Review: MicroRNAs as Modulators of Stem Cells and Angiogenesis

Authors

  • Nicole M. Kane,

    1. Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College of London, London, United Kingdom
    Current affiliation:
    1. Novartis Oncology, UK
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  • Adrian J. Thrasher,

    1. Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College of London, London, United Kingdom
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  • Gianni D. Angelini,

    1. Bristol Heart Institute, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
    2. National Heart Lung Institute, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College of London, London, United Kingdom
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  • Costanza Emanueli

    Corresponding author
    1. Bristol Heart Institute, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
    2. National Heart Lung Institute, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College of London, London, United Kingdom
    • Correspondence: Costanza Emanueli, B.Sc., Ph.D., F.A.H.A., Laboratory of Vascular Pathology and Regeneration, Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol Royal Infirmary-level 7, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, England BS2 8HW, U.K. Telephone: 44-0-117-3423512; e-mail: costanza.emanueli@bristol.ac.uk.

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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRs) are highly conserved, short noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate messenger RNA (mRNA) stability and/or translational efficiency. Since a given miR can control the expression of many mRNAs, their importance in governing gene expression in specific cell types including vascular cells and their progenitor cells has become increasingly clear. Understanding how the expression of miRs themselves is regulated and how miRs exert their influence on post-transcriptional gene control provides novel opportunities to dissect gene regulatory networks in clinically relevant cell types. A multitude of miRs have been identified with key roles in vascular development, homeostasis, function, disease, and regeneration. In this review, we will describe the impact of miRs on angiogenesis and their capacity to modulate the behavior of stem and progenitor cells which may be utilitarian for promoting vascular growth in ischemic tissue. Moreover, we summarize these strategies available for modulating miR expression and function and future therapeutic applications. Stem Cells 2014;32:1059–1066

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