Past Issue

Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 2018, Serial Number: 77, Pages: 61-72

miR-302b-3p Promotes Self-Renewal Properties in Leukemia Inhibitory Factor-Withdrawn Embryonic Stem Cells

Sharif Moradi, Ph.D, 1, 2, Thomas Braun, M.D., Ph.D., 3, *, Hossein Baharvand, Ph.D, 1, 2, *,
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 Culture, Tehran, Iran
Max-Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Department of Cardiac Development and Remodelling, Bad Nauheim, Germany
*Corresponding Addresses: P.O. BOX: 16635-148 Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Cell Science Research Center Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology ACECR Tehran Iran Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research Ludwigstr. 43 61231 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We observed that miR-302b-3p promoted the viability of both wild-type and LIF-withdrawn ESCs.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.