The Involvement of DNA Methylation and Histone Modification on the Epigenetic Regulation of Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Kenneth Siu-Sing Leung, Vincent Wing-Sang Cheng, Simon Wing-Fai Mok and Stephen Kwok-Wing Tsui
Affiliation: School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong.
Stem cell research has been developing rapidly in diverse areas such as the fields of genetics and molecular biology
over the past decades. Genomic studies on both embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and terminally-differentiated cells illustrated
that factors apart from their hereditary information disparity are associated with gene expression patterns of
ESCs. Therefore, current research is trying to explore the effects of epigenetic processes in stem cell physiology and phenotypic
changes. In-depth analyses of the molecular mechanisms underpinning such epigenetic-mediated functions have
also been conducted. These findings suggest the importance of understanding the epigenetic influences in stem cell activities.
Accordingly this review will describe the regulatory machineries of stem cells development targeting the two epigenetic
processes: (1) DNA methylation and (2) histones modification. In addition, up-to-date findings concerning the functional
roles of these processes in stem cells homeostasis will be covered.
Keywords: CpG islands, DNA methylation, DNA methyltransferases, epigenetics, histones modifications, pluripotency, stem
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