MicroRNAs are ~22bp nucleotide non-coding RNAs that play important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Many studies have established that microRNAs are important for cell fate choices, including the naïve to primed pluripotency state transitions, and their intermediate state, the developmentally suspended diapause state in early development. However, the full extent of microRNAs associated with these stage transitions in human and mouse remain under-explored. By meta-analysis of microRNA-seq, RNA-seq, and metabolomics datasets from human and mouse, we found a set of microRNAs, and importantly, their experimentally validated target genes that show consistent changes in naïve to primed transitions (microRNA up, target genes down, or vice versa). The targets of these microRNAs regulate developmental pathways (e.g., the Hedgehog-pathway), primary cilium, and remodeling of metabolic processes (oxidative phosphorylation, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid transport) during the transition. Importantly, we identified 115 microRNAs that significantly change in the same direction in naïve to primed transitions in both human and mouse, many of which are novel candidate regulators of pluripotency. Furthermore, we identified 38 microRNAs and 274 target genes that may be involved in diapause, where embryonic development is temporarily suspended prior to implantation to uterus. The upregulated target genes suggest that microRNAs activate stress response in the diapause stage. In conclusion, we provide a comprehensive resource of microRNAs and their target genes involved in naïve to primed transition and in the paused intermediate, the embryonic diapause stage.
- Embryonic diapause
- Naïve and primed pluripotent stem cells