Chemical Control of Stem Cell Fate and Developmental Potential

Authors

  • Dr. Costas A. Lyssiotis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
    • Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
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  • Dr. Luke L. Lairson,

    1. The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, 10675 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, CA 92121 (USA)
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  • Dr. Anthony E. Boitano,

    1. The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, 10675 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, CA 92121 (USA)
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  • Dr. Heiko Wurdak,

    1. Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
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  • Dr. Shoutian Zhu,

    1. Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
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  • Prof. Peter G. Schultz

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
    • Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 (USA), Fax: (+1) 858-784-9440
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Abstract

Potential applications of stem cells in medicine range from their inclusion in disease modeling and drug discovery to cell transplantation and regenerative therapies. However, before this promise can be realized several obstacles must be overcome, including the control of stem cell differentiation, allogeneic rejection and limited cell availability. This will require an improved understanding of the mechanisms that govern stem cell potential and the development of robust methods to efficiently control their fate. Recently, a number of small molecules have been identified that can be used both in vitro and in vivo as tools to expand stem cells, direct their differentiation, or reprogram somatic cells to a more naive state. These molecules have provided a wealth of insights into the signaling and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate stem cell biology, and are already beginning to contribute to the development of effective treatments for tissue repair and regeneration.

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