Persistent expression of microRNA-125a targets is required to induce murine hematopoietic stem cell repopulating activity

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MicroRNAs (miRs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally by binding to the 30 untranslated regions of their target mRNAs. The evolutionarily conserved microRNA-125a (miR-125a) is highly expressed in both murine and human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and previous studies have found that miR-125 strongly enhances self renewal of HSCs and progenitors. In this study we explored whether temporary overexpression of miR-125a would be sufficient to permanently increase HSC self-renewal or, rather, whether persistent overexpression of miR-125a is required. We used three complementary in vivo approaches to reversibly enforce expression of miR-125a in murine HSCs. Additionally, we interrogated the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the functional changes that occur in HSCs on overexpression of miR-125a. Our data indicate that continuous expression of miR-125a is required to enhance HSC activity. Our molecular analysis confirms changes in pathways that explain the characteristics of miR-125a overexpressing HSCs. Moreover, it provides several novel putative miR-125a targets, but also highlights the complex molecular changes that collectively lead to enhanced HSC function. (c) 2020 ISEH - Society for Hematology and Stem Cells. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59.e5
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2021

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