MicroRNAs in Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells

  • Sanjay K. Singh
  • Mohamedi N. Kagalwala
  • Sadhan Majumder


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to play a role in the development, cell division, proliferation, maintenance, and differentiation of stem cells (embryonic and adult) and in tumorigenesis, cancer cell migration, and metastasis, and this list continues to grow. In this chapter, we review various aspects of miRNA biology, including its biogenesis and miRNA–protein complexes. We will look at the recent development into the mechanism of its functions and the role of miRNA in stem cells and various cancers. We discuss some of the open questions in the field and the prospect of a potential role of miRNAs in cancer or tumor-initiating stem cells. We also comment on budding but promising therapeutic application of miRNAs in pathological scenario. Understanding this layer of regulation by miRNA will uncover many interesting avenues in future in learning the biology of life.


Embryonic Stem Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cancer Stem Cell miRNA Gene miRNA Biogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay K. Singh
    • 1
  • Mohamedi N. Kagalwala
    • 2
  • Sadhan Majumder
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Genetics, Laboratory of GeneticsSalk Institute for Biological StudiesLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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