, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 360-372

Pluripotency maintenance mechanism of embryonic stem cells and reprogramming

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Abstract

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are derived from blastocysts and are pluripotent. This pluripotency has attracted the interest of numerous researchers, both to expand our fundamental understanding of developmental biology and also because of potential applications in regenerative medicine. Systems biological studies have demonstrated that the pivotal transcription factors form a network. There they activate pluripotency-associated genes, including themselves, while repressing the developmentally regulated genes through co-occupation with various protein complexes. The chromatin structure characteristic of ES cells also contributes to the maintenance of the network. In this review, I focus on recent advances in our understanding of the transcriptional network that maintains pluripotency in mouse ES cells.