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Similar Human iPSC and ESC Chromatin States Suggests Usefulness in Regenerative Medicine

From Cell Stem Cell

Research published in the 6th August edition of Cell Stem Cell suggests that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may be more similar than previously thought. This research, from the laboratory of Richard A. Young shows that genome-wide maps of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in a panel of hESC and hiPSCs showed little differences and similar gene expression profiles. Within the same edition of Cell Stem Cell, a study from the laboratory of James B. Cooper suggests that many changes between hESC and hiPSC observed may be due to the micro-environmental context in which the cells were grown and, perhaps, analysed. Also from the same edition comes a report from Kathrin Plath and William E. Lowry who discuss the meta-analyses employed when studying expression in hESC vs. hiPSCs in order to optimize “best practice” to minimize laboratory-borne differences between these cell types.

However this does contradict recent papers which suggest that iPSC, when at low passage, are transcriptionally and epigenetically different (see recent Editorial - iPSC don´t Forget their Origins) and also exhibit differences at imprinted genes at later passages. Perhaps an expansion to a panel of histone modifications and including DNA methylation and miRNA analysis may give us a clearer story of the relative similarities and differences between hESC and hiPSC.



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