Tuning of major signaling networks (TGF-?, Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog) by miRNAs in human stem cells commitment to different lineages: Possible clinical application
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Two distinguishing characteristics of stem cells, their continuous division in the undifferentiated state and growth into any cell types, are orchestrated by a number of cell signaling pathways. These pathways act as a niche factor in controlling variety of stem cells. The core stem cell signaling pathways include Wingless-type (Wnt), Hedgehog (HH), and Notch. Additionally, they critically regulate the self-renewal and survival of cancer stem cells. Conversely, stem cells' main properties, lineage commitment and stemness, are tightly controlled by epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNA-mediated regulatory events. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are cellular switches that modulate stem cells outcomes in response to diverse extracellular signals. Numerous scientific evidences implicating miRNAs in major signal transduction pathways highlight new crosstalks of cellular processes. Aberrant signaling pathways and miRNAs levels result in developmental defects and diverse human pathologies. This review discusses the crosstalk between the components of main signaling networks and the miRNA machinery, which plays a role in the context of stem cells development and provides a set of examples to illustrate the extensive relevance of potential novel therapeutic targets.
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