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Annu Rev Biochem. 2012;81:737-65. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-052709-104948. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming.

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Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Pluripotency is a "blank" cellular state characteristic of specific cells within the early embryo (e.g., epiblast cells) and of certain cells propagated in vitro (e.g., embryonic stem cells, ESCs). The terms pluripotent cell and stem cell are often used interchangeably to describe cells capable of differentiating into multiple cell types. In this review, we discuss the prevailing molecular and functional definitions of pluripotency and the working parameters employed to describe this state, both in the context of cells residing within the early embryo and cells propagated in vitro.

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