Telephone: 858-453-4100; Fax: 858-453-2573
Embryonic Stem Cells/Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Version of Record online: 28 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 AlphaMed Press
Special Issue: 30th Anniversary
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 33–41, January 2012
How to Cite
Bilic, J. and Belmonte, J. C. I. (2012), Concise Review: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Versus Embryonic Stem Cells: Close Enough or Yet Too Far Apart?. STEM CELLS, 30: 33–41. doi: 10.1002/stem.700
Author contributions: J.B.: conception and design, manuscript writing; J.C.I.B.: conception and design, financial support, manuscript writing.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS December 23, 2011; available online without subscription through the open access option.
- Issue online: 28 DEC 2011
- Version of Record online: 28 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 9 MAY 2011
- Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacaion
- The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
- G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation
- Fundacion Cellex
- California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
- Pluripotent stem cells;
- Embryonic stem cells
The state of a cell is defined by the genes it transcribes and the epigenetic landscape that regulates their expression. Pluripotent cells have markedly different epigenetic signatures when compared with differentiated cells. Permissive chromatin, high occurrence of bivalent domains, and low levels of heterochromatin allow pluripotent cells to react to distinctive stimuli and undergo changes of cell state by differentiating into various tissues. Differentiated cells can be reprogrammed by a set of transcription factors to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) that convert their transcriptional and epigenetic state to pluripotency and thus closely resemble embryonic stem cells (ESC). However, questions remain on whether the epigenetic reprogramming is complete or if there are some recurring iPSC specific aberrations that impede their full pluripotency potential. For this reason, iPSC need to be closely compared with ESC, which is used as a golden standard for in vitro pluripotency. Transcribed genes, epigenetic landscape, differentiation potential, and mutational load show small but distinctive dissimilarities between these two cell types. STEM CELLS2012;30:33–41