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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;16(6):700-7.

Diverse mechanisms regulate stem cell self-renewal.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, 3215 CCGC, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0934, USA.


To what extent are the pathways that regulate self-renewal conserved between stem cells at different stages of development and in different tissues? Some pathways play a strikingly conserved role in regulating the self-renewal of diverse stem cells, whereas other pathways are specific to stem cells in certain tissues or at certain stages of development. Recent studies have highlighted differences between the self-renewal of embryonic, fetal and adult stem cells. By understanding these similarities and differences we may come to a molecular understanding of how stem cells replicate themselves and why aspects of this process differ between stem cells.

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