Epigenetic reprogramming of cell identity: lessons from development for regenerative medicine

Amitava Basu, Vijay K Tiwari

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Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms are known to define cell-type identity and function. Hence, reprogramming of one cell type into another essentially requires a rewiring of the underlying epigenome. Cellular reprogramming can convert somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can be directed to differentiate to specific cell types. Trans-differentiation or direct reprogramming, on the other hand, involves the direct conversion of one cell type into another. In this review, we highlight how gene regulatory mechanisms identified to be critical for developmental processes were successfully used for cellular reprogramming of various cell types. We also discuss how the therapeutic use of the reprogrammed cells is beginning to revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine particularly in the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue and organs arising from pathological conditions or accidents. Lastly, we highlight some key challenges hindering the application of cellular reprogramming for therapeutic purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
JournalClinical Epigenetics
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Development
  • Transcription factors
  • Reprogramming
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Epigenetic Mechanisms

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