Jeong Tae Do1,*
and Hans R. Schöler2
1Laboratory of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, CHA Stem Cell Institute, CHA University, 605-21 Yoeksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-081, South Korea
2Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Röntgenstrasse 20, 48149 Münster, Germany
Available online 6 May 2009.
The ability of pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into all cell types of an organism has received widespread attention in basic and clinical research and holds tremendous potential for pharmacologic and medical applications. In this review, we provide an overview of the factors and pathways involved in pluripotency and discuss a possible mechanism underlying genetic reprogramming using defined transcription factors. We specifically address the association between core transcription factors (e.g. Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog) and the cellular machinery (e.g. chromatin remodeling complex, DNA methylation, microRNA and X chromosome inactivation), which has an important role in cell fate determination.