Epigenetics Regulation of Stem Cell Differentiation

Track 12:Epigenetics Regulation of Stem Cell Differentiation

The epigenetic basis of stem cell differentiation arises from the need to maintain gene expression patterns in both stem/progenitor cells and their differentiated progenies. As a stem cell differentiates, genes associated with self-renewal are down-regulated, while lineage-specific genes are activated. It then follows that the inherited epigenetic marks deposited on those genes must be reversible. Chromatin modifying enzymes with opposing activities play a key role in the dynamic regulation of epigenetic marks. Defining the signaling pathways of these enzymes induced by differentiation-inducing cues is critical to understanding the mechanisms underlying stem cell differentiation. Furthermore, non-coding RNAs, especially microRNAs, provide additional layers for regulation of gene expression during cell fate specification. These multiple layers of regulation allow for rapid transition of proliferating stem cells into their differentiated progenies.

 

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