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Future Med Chem. 2011 Sep;3(12):1539-49. doi: 10.4155/fmc.11.98.

Discovering small molecules to control stem cell fate.

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Cellartis AB, Maclagan House, 1 Wurzburg Court, Medipark, Dundee DD2 1FB, UK.


Pluripotent stem cells promise to revolutionize drug discovery and offer new modes of therapy. The ease with which they can be grown in bulk and their differentiation controlled in vitro is of importance for their widespread adoption by industry and their clinical efficacy. Small molecules have already had a positive impact on several areas of stem cell biology, from maintenance of pluripotency, the promotion of single cell survival and steering differentiation to involvement in reprogramming somatic cells. High-throughput technology has played an important role in identifying novel compounds, however to date there are few published examples of medicinal chemistry input in this area. This review discusses the potential of pluripotent stem cells, the successful uses of small molecules and future prospects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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