stem cell differentiation, DNA methylation
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationImprinting and Inheritance

iPSC Epigenetic Memory: One more Roadblock for Regenerative Medicine?

The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the creation of clinically relevant cell types derived from them, have been great leaps toward the implementation of stem cell based therapies and disease models. But in recent years, concerns have risen about iPSCs “remembering” their original cell types and favoring …

RNA methylation, stem cell differentiation, and RNA stability
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsRegulatory RNA

RNA Methylation: The Next Big Thing in Stem Cell Differentiation and RNA Stability

While DNA methylation is probably the longest studied and best understood epigenetic modification, methylation of RNA is gaining increased appreciation, especially recently.  N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in RNA has been observed to be the most frequently occurring epigenetic modification in mRNAs in eukaryotic organisms, but the function of this modification is still …

Epigenetics, DNA hydroxymethylation, and liver cancer
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsTools & Technology

Somatic Cells Turned Pluripotent by Acid Treatment – Major Breakthrough, Or Too Good To Be True?

The potential use of induced pluripotent stem cells in medicine has the power to completely revolutionize the way physicians treat human diseases.  Imagine the possibility of treating diseased or damaged tissue by taking a patient’s own cells from an unaffected tissue, and turning them into healthy cells to replace the …

5-hmC apple
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

An Apple a Day Keeps the DNA Methylation Away! Vitamin C and DNA Demethylation in Mouse ES Cells

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is essential for normal development and also plays important roles in diverse cellular functions, such as genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, suppression of repetitive DNA elements, carcinogenesis, and other human diseases. In the last few years, scientists have focused on better understanding the process …

Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Donor Cells Leave Their Epigenetic Fingerprint on iPSCs

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was recently awarded for the 2006 discovery of the ability of somatic cells to be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state. The award highlights the tremendous impact of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) on the field of medicine in just a few short years. However, little …

Stem Cell Cultures
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Differing culture conditions can lead to both reversible and irreversible changes in DNA methylation.

Investigation into the mechanisms of pluripotency in stem cells and their potential applications is ongoing.  It is of utmost importance that these cells be propagated stably, both for the consistency of data within the scientific community and then also for potential clinical applications.  How do culture conditions impact methylation and …

Mouse embryonic stem cells
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

How is DNA Methylation Maintained in ESCs and Differentiated Cells?

DNA methylation has been shown to be very important for development, differentiation, and aging.  But how is DNA methylation maintained?  When and how does de novo DNA methylation occur?  Are there specific DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) involved in non-symmetric DNA methylation or DNA methylation outside of the CpG context?  There have …