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Part 5 - New developments in stem-cell research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2013

Carlos Simón
Affiliation:
Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad, University of Valencia
Antonio Pellicer
Affiliation:
Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad, University of Valencia
Renee Reijo Pera
Affiliation:
Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
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Summary

This chapter presents recent advances in the study of cell reprogramming within the broader context of organ regeneration research in certain animal models. It summarizes current approaches to investigate reprogramming, dedifferentiation, and transdifferentiation, and discusses the mechanisms that underlie the erasure of epigenetic memory during cellular reprogramming. Dedifferentiation entails a stable change in cell fate (reprogramming) so that the resulting cell type represents earlier steps in the cell's developmental history, either molecularly or functionally. The term lineage conversion or transdifferentiation is used to describe changes in cell fate that do not involve a gain in cell potency. Comparing how natural instances of cell reprogramming and their experimental counterparts are regulated will surely identify commonalities, but also context-specific differences. In addition to bettering our understanding of fascinating biological phenomena, research on induced reprogramming to pluripotency and direct cell fate conversion is likely to have profound biomedical implications.
Type
Chapter
Information
Stem Cells in Reproductive Medicine
Basic Science and Therapeutic Potential
, pp. 152 - 179
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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