Human pluripotent stem cells: An emerging model in developmental biology

Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.
Development (Impact Factor: 6.46). 02/2013; 140(4):705-17. DOI: 10.1242/dev.086165
Source: PubMed


Developmental biology has long benefited from studies of classic model organisms. Recently, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, have emerged as a new model system that offers unique advantages for developmental studies. Here, we discuss how studies of hPSCs can complement classic approaches using model organisms, and how hPSCs can be used to recapitulate aspects of human embryonic development 'in a dish'. We also summarize some of the recently developed genetic tools that greatly facilitate the interrogation of gene function during hPSC differentiation. With the development of high-throughput screening technologies, hPSCs have the potential to revolutionize gene discovery in mammalian development.

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    • "Reprogramming technology using several pluripotency-specific transcription factors, such as combination of OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC [8] or combination of OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, and LIN28 [9], converts somatic cells of the body into stem cells, called iPS cells, which have similar pluripotency to ES cells but possess even more potential in terms of drug screening and discovery, disease modelling, and clinical therapy because of their disease-specific or patient-specific state [10–12]. Recent remarkable progress in stem cell research has brought great optimism and offered the possibility to use them for developmental biology studies, disease modelling, cell replacement therapy, and tissue engineering in regenerative medicine [5, 10–13]. As stem cell research progressing, vast application potential of it in modern and future medicine can be easily deduced. "
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