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Nat Rev Genet. 2012 May 18;13(6):429-39. doi: 10.1038/nrg3209.

Maintaining differentiated cellular identity.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd, BOX 240, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Various studies have demonstrated that somatic differentiated cells can be reprogrammed into other differentiated states or into pluripotency, thus showing that the differentiated cellular state is not irreversible. These findings have generated intense interest in the process of reprogramming and in mechanisms that govern the pluripotent state. However, the realization that differentiated cells can be triggered to switch to considerably different lineages also emphasizes that we need to understand how the identity of mature cells is normally maintained. Here we review recent studies on how the differentiated state is controlled at the transcriptional level and discuss how new insights have begun to elucidate mechanisms underlying the stable maintenance of mature cell identities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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