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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2001 Oct;11(5):581-6.

Transdifferentiation and metaplasia--switching cell types.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Programme, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, BA2 7AY, Bath, UK.


States of developmental commitment are encoded as combinations of transcription factors and changes in their expression can bring about transdifferentiation or metaplasia. For example, ectopic expressions of Vestigial can convert Drosophila leg to wing; of C/EBPbeta can convert pancreatic exocrine cells to hepatocytes; and expression of C/EBPalpha and PPARgamma can convert myoblasts to adipocytes.

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