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Transcription factor heterogeneity in pluripotent stem cells: a stochastic advantage.

TitleTranscription factor heterogeneity in pluripotent stem cells: a stochastic advantage.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTorres-Padilla M-E, Chambers I
Date Published2014 Jun
KeywordsAlleles, Animals, Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Cell Nucleus, Embryonic Stem Cells, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Regulatory Networks, Homeodomain Proteins, Humans, Mice, Models, Theoretical, Pluripotent Stem Cells, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Stochastic Processes, Transcription Factors, Transcription, Genetic

When pluripotent cells are exposed to a uniform culture environment they routinely display heterogeneous gene expression. Aspects of this heterogeneity, such as Nanog expression, are linked to differences in the propensity of individual cells to either self-renew or commit towards differentiation. Recent findings have provided new insight into the underlying causes of this heterogeneity, which we summarise here using Nanog, a key regulator of pluripotency, as a model gene. We discuss the role of transcription factor heterogeneity in facilitating the intrinsically dynamic and stochastic nature of the pluripotency network, which in turn provides a potential benefit to a population of cells that needs to balance cell fate decisions.

Alternate JournalDevelopment
PubMed ID24866112
Grant List / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom