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Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Jun 5;14(6):710-9. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.05.008.

Reprogramming the methylome: erasing memory and creating diversity.

Author information

1
Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton CB10 1SA, UK.
2
Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, UK.
3
Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton CB10 1SA, UK; Centre for Trophoblast Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EG, UK. Electronic address: wolf.reik@babraham.ac.uk.

Abstract

The inheritance of epigenetic marks, in particular DNA methylation, provides a molecular memory that ensures faithful commitment to transcriptional programs during mammalian development. Epigenetic reprogramming results in global hypomethylation of the genome together with a profound loss of memory, which underlies naive pluripotency. Such global reprogramming occurs in primordial germ cells, early embryos, and embryonic stem cells where reciprocal molecular links connect the methylation machinery to pluripotency. Priming for differentiation is initiated upon exit from pluripotency, and we propose that epigenetic mechanisms create diversity of transcriptional states, which help with symmetry breaking during cell fate decisions and lineage commitment.

PMID:
24905162
PMCID:
PMC4051243
DOI:
10.1016/j.stem.2014.05.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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