Epigenetics of reprogramming to induced pluripotency

Cell. 2013 Mar 14;152(6):1324-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.043.


Reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) proceeds in a stepwise manner with reprogramming factor binding, transcription, and chromatin states changing during transitions. Evidence is emerging that epigenetic priming events early in the process may be critical for pluripotency induction later. Chromatin and its regulators are important controllers of reprogramming, and reprogramming factor levels, stoichiometry, and extracellular conditions influence the outcome. The rapid progress in characterizing reprogramming is benefiting applications of iPSCs and is already enabling the rational design of novel reprogramming factor cocktails. However, recent studies have also uncovered an epigenetic instability of the X chromosome in human iPSCs that warrants careful consideration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Reprogramming*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Transcription Factors