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1 September 2007 Dedifferentiation: A New Approach in Stem Cell Research
SA CAI, XIAOBING FU, ZHIYONG SHENG
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Abstract

Dedifferentiation is an important biological phenomenon whereby cells regress from a specialized function to a simpler state reminiscent of stem cells. Stem cells are self-renewing cells capable of giving rise to differentiated cells when supplied with the appropriate factors. Stem cells that are derived by dedifferentiation of one's own cells could be a new resource for regenerative medicine, one that poses no risk of genetic incompatibility or immune rejection and provokes fewer ethical debates than the use of stem cells derived from embryonic tissue. Until now, it has not been quite clear why some differentiated cell types can dedifferentiate and proliferate, whereas others cannot. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in dedifferentiation may enable scientists to control and possibly alter the plasticity of the differentiated state, which may lead to benefits not only in stem cell research but also in regenerative medicine and even tumor biology. If so, dedifferentiation will offer an ethically acceptable alternative route to obtain an abundant source of stem cells. Dedifferentiation is likely to become a new focus of stem cell research. Here we compile recent advances in this emerging but significant research, highlighting its central concepts, research findings, possible signaling pathways, and potential applications.

SA CAI, XIAOBING FU, and ZHIYONG SHENG "Dedifferentiation: A New Approach in Stem Cell Research," BioScience 57(8), 655-662, (1 September 2007). https://doi.org/10.1641/B570805
Published: 1 September 2007
JOURNAL ARTICLE
8 PAGES

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