Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Genomics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Genome-wide mapping of miRNAs expressed in embryonic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells generated by different reprogramming strategies

Botao Zhao1, Dehua Yang2, Jing Jiang3, Jinsong Li3, Chunsun Fan4, Menggui Huang5, Yi Fan5, Yan Jin6* and Youxin Jin1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China

2 The National Center for Drug Screening and the CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Shanghai 201203, China

3 State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China

4 Department of etiology, Qidong liver cancer institute, Qidong, Jiangsu 226200, China

5 Department of radiation oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

6 Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genomics 2014, 15:488  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-488

Published: 18 June 2014



Reprogrammed cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (NT-ESCs), are similar in many respects to natural embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, previous studies have demonstrated that iPSCs retain a gene expression signature that is unique from that of ESCs, including differences in microRNA (miRNA) expression, while NT-ESCs are more faithfully reprogrammed cells and have better developmental potential compared with iPSCs.


We focused on miRNA expression and explored the difference between ESCs and reprogrammed cells, especially ESCs and NT-ESCs. We also compared the distinct expression patterns among iPSCs, NT-ESCs and NT-iPSCs. The results demonstrated that reprogrammed cells (iPSCs and NT-ESCs) have unique miRNA expression patterns compared with ESCs. The comparison of differently reprogrammed cells (NT-ESCs, NT-iPSCs and iPSCs) suggests that several miRNAs have key roles in the distinct developmental potential of reprogrammed cells.


Our data suggest that miRNAs play a part in the difference between ESCs and reprogrammed cells, as well as between MEFs and pluripotent cells. The variation of miRNA expression in reprogrammed cells derived using different reprogramming strategies suggests different characteristics induced by nuclear transfer and iPSC generation, as well as different developmental potential among NT-ESCs, iPSCs and NT-iPSCs.