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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian cell differentiation, transdifferentiation and dedifferentiation.


Epigenetic and chromatin modifications have important roles in governing gene activity and nuclear architecture. They are also necessary for normal embryonic development and cell differentiation. Early epigenetic programming events during mouse embryogenesis are believed to be essential for normal growth and development. Aberrant epigenetic profiles are associated with the conversion of normal cell phenotypes into cancer cells. Because epigenetic alterations are potentially reversible, experimental progress in this area may offer great promise for new cancer therapy. Nuclear epigenetic profiles can be manipulated using techniques such as somatic cell reprogramming, genetic engineering and small molecules, which can reprogramme the cell towards dedifferentiation and transdifferentiation. Advances into the mechanisms will improve the potential for regenerative medicine. In this review, we describe the principles of epigenetics and its relation to cell reprogramming, differentiation, dedifferentiation and transdifferentiation.

CAB Review details

  • History
  • Published: 13 May 2015
  • ISSN
  • 1749-8848
  • Publisher information
  • CABI Wallingford UK
  • Organism descriptor(s)
  • mice
  • Record Number
  • 20153134550