Depending on their origin, embryo-derived stem cells have distinct properties that largely correspond to their counterpart in vivo. Mouse epiblast stem cells derived from post-implantation embryos differ from embryonic stem cells derived from blastocysts in their transcriptional and epigenetic profile, their morphology and culture requirements. When maintained in appropriate conditions, the cells keep self-renewing and do not adopt a different state. Recent studies, however, show that it is possible to convert between stem cell states. Here we review recent advances to induce stem cell state changes and we consider the potential of germ cell-mediated reprogramming for the conversion. Since the properties of mouse epiblast stem cells are similar to human embryonic stem cells, we discuss the significance of stem cell conversion and germ cell-mediated reprogramming in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research