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Cell & Tissue Transplantation & Therapy

Regulation of Somatic Stem Cell Function by DNA Methylation and Genomic Imprinting

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Cell & Tissue Transplantation & Therapy 2013:5 19-23

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Published on 23 Jul 2013

DOI: 10.4137/CTTT.S12142


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Abstract

Epigenetic regulation is essential for self-renewal and differentiation of somatic stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs). The role of DNA methylation, one of the key epigenetic pathways, in regulating somatic stem cell function under physiological conditions and during aging has been intensively investigated. Accumulating evidence highlights the dynamic nature of the DNA methylome during lineage commitment of somatic stem cells and the pivotal role of DNA methyltransferases in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Recent studies on genomic imprinting have shed light on the imprinted gene network (IGN) in somatic stem cells, where a subset of imprinted genes remain expressed and are important for maintaining self-renewal of these cells. Together with emerging technologies, elucidation of the epigenetic mechanisms regulating somatic stem cells with normal or pathological functions may contribute to the development of regenerative medicine.



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