miR-302b-3p Promotes Self-Renewal Properties in Leukemia Inhibitory Factor-Withdrawn Embryonic Stem Cells

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran;Department of Developmental Biology, University of Science and

2 Max-Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Department of Cardiac Development and Remodelling, Bad Nauheim, Germany


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are regulated by a gene regulatory circuitry composed of transcription factors, signaling pathways, metabolic mediators, and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short ncRNAs which play crucial roles in ESCs. Here, we explored the impact of miR-302b-3p on ESC self-renewal in the absence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF).
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, ESCs were cultured in the presence of 15% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and induced to differentiate by LIF removal. miR-302b-3p overexpression was performed by transient transfection of mature miRNA mimics. Cell cycle profiling was done using propidium iodide (PI) staining followed by flow cytometry. miRNA expression was quantified using a miR-302b-3p-specific TaqMan assay. Data were analyzed using t test, and a P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
We observed that miR-302b-3p promoted the viability of both wild-type and LIF-withdrawn ESCs. It also increased ESC clonogenicity and alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity. The defective cell cycling of LIF-deprived ESCs was completely rescued by miR-302b-3p delivery. Moreover, miR-302b-3p inhibited the increased cell death rate induced by LIF removal.
miR-302b-3p, as a pluripotency-associated miRNA, promotes diverse features of ESC self-renewal in the absence of extrinsic LIF signals.