alexa With or Without them: Essential Roles of Cofactors in E
ISSN: 2157-7633

Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy
Open Access

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Review Article

With or Without them: Essential Roles of Cofactors in ES Cells

Hui Ma1#, Jin Rong Ow1#, Xi Chen2* and Qiang Wu1*

1Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 8 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597

2Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA

#Equally contributed

Corresponding Author:
Xi Chen
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
Tel: 1-617-432-4080
Fax: 1-617-432-0084 E-mail: [email protected]
Qiang Wu
Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore
8 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597
Tel: (65) 65163159
Fax: (65) 67791453
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 24, 2012; Accepted Date: June 27, 2012; Published Date: June 29, 2012

Citation: Ma H, Ow JR, Chen X, Wu Q (2012) With or Without them: Essential Roles of Cofactors in ES Cells. J Stem Cell Res Ther S10:006. doi:10.4172/2157-7633.S10-006

Copyright: © 2012 Ma H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent cells which are capable of differentiating into many cell types. A complex transcriptional network consisting of Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog maintains ESCs in undifferentiated state while being poised to be directed into different committed cell types. Recently, tremendous efforts have made to elucidate the functions of cofactors in ESC identity and differentiation. More and more evidence has shown that cofactors are crucial for both pluripotency maintenance and differentiation capacity in ESCs. Cofactors do not bind to DNA directly. Rather, they are usually recruited to target sites by transcription factors or epigenetic marks. Transcriptional cofactors including coactivators or corepressors serve as critical components of the regulatory circuitry that ensures unique gene expression program in ESCs.  In this review, we will highlight recent findings on the functions of transcriptional cofactors and the underlying molecular mechanism that maintains ESC identity.


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