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First steps of cell reprogramming
December 9, 2015

The ability to artificially reprogram somatic cells into pluripotency, from which almost any subsequent cell can develop, is highly sought in transplantation medicine. In 2012, Shinya Yamanaka of Japan received the Nobel Prize in medicine for the production of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Since then, researchers have been working hard to understand the processes that take place during the reprogramming of a cell. Rudolf Jaenisch from Boston says that “Understanding epigenetics means finding the best recipe for producing iPS cells.”

Now epigeneticists from Taiwan have found an important piece of the puzzle. Some of the first steps involved in reverting to pluripotency require an epigenetically-active enzyme called PARP1. It helps to change the structure of chromatin so that important genes can be read again. Bo-Hua Jiang and colleagues have found that an epigenetic helper (chromatin remodeler) called CHD1L co-acts with PARP1. Thus it seems that those two partners target the open chromatin in the right places so that the cell takes the right path towards pluripotency.

Source: http://www.newsletter-epigenetik.de/

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