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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2010 Oct;20(5):492-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2010.06.002. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Parallel gateways to pluripotency: open chromatin in stem cells and development.

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Departments of Ob/Gyn and Pathology, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Center for Reproductive Sciences and Diabetes Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0525, USA.


Open chromatin is a hallmark of pluripotent stem cells, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are only beginning to be unraveled. In this review we highlight recent studies that employ embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the regulation of open chromatin and its role in the maintenance and acquisition of pluripotency in vitro. We suggest that findings from in vitro studies using pluripotent stem cells are predictive of in vivo processes of epigenetic regulation of pluripotency, specifically in the development of the zygote and primordial germ cells. The combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches is expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of the epigenetic regulation of pluripotency and reprograming.

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