Cellular reprogramming: a small molecule perspective

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Dec;24(6):784-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2012.08.010. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


The discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the expression of a few transcription factors has attracted enormous interest in biomedical research and the field of regenerative medicine. iPSCs nearly identically resemble embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and can give rise to all cell types in the body, and thus have opened new opportunities for personalized regenerative medicine and new ways of modeling human diseases. Although some studies have raised concerns about genomic stability and epigenetic memory in the resulting cells, better understanding and control of the reprogramming process should enable enhanced efficiency and higher fidelity in reprogramming. Therefore, small molecules regulating reprogramming mechanisms are valuable tools to probe the process of reprogramming and harness cell fate transitions for various applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage / drug effects
  • Cellular Reprogramming / drug effects*
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / drug effects
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / drug effects
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Glycolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism


  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear