IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/2781

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Developmentally-poised chromatin of embryonic stem cells
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1 Center for Regenerative Biology, University of Connecticut, 1392 Storrs Road, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-4243, USA
2 Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-4040, USA
3 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-3042, USA
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(4), 1568–1577;
Published: 1 January 2008

Embryonic stem (ES) cells proliferate indefinitely while maintaining pluripotency. The ability of ES cells to form all cell-types of the embryo can occur because they maintain their genome in an epigenetically-potentiated state that is amenable to a broad series of changes in gene expression. Epigenetic stasis and change occur at a molecular level largely through mechanisms involving chromatin and its modification. This review outlines current knowledge of chromatin homeostasis in undifferentiated ES cells, and the remodeling of chromatin during the course of ES cell differentiation. Furthermore, recent evidence shows that the chromatin of many genes in ES cells is configured in developmentally-potentiated states that index them for later transcriptional outcomes. ES cell chromatin also has dynamic physical and kinetic properties that are probably necessary for rapid and pervasive remodeling upon differentiation. Finally, knowledge of nuclear reprogramming activities in oocytes and ES cells are considered, since these activities may also function in the maintenance of pluripotent ES cell chromatin and are also likely involved in subsequent differentiation.

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