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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;10(10):672-81. doi: 10.1038/nrm2766. Epub 2009 Sep 9.

Systems biology of stem cell fate and cellular reprogramming.

Author information

1
Department of Gene and Cell Medicine and Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA. ben.macarthur@mssm.edu

Abstract

Stem cell differentiation and the maintenance of self-renewal are intrinsically complex processes requiring the coordinated dynamic expression of hundreds of genes and proteins in precise response to external signalling cues. Numerous recent reports have used both experimental and computational techniques to dissect this complexity. These reports suggest that the control of cell fate has both deterministic and stochastic elements: complex underlying regulatory networks define stable molecular 'attractor' states towards which individual cells are drawn over time, whereas stochastic fluctuations in gene and protein expression levels drive transitions between coexisting attractors, ensuring robustness at the population level.

PMID:
19738627
PMCID:
PMC2928569
DOI:
10.1038/nrm2766
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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