When Myc's asleep, embryonic stem cells are dormant

EMBO J. 2016 Apr 15;35(8):801-2. doi: 10.15252/embj.201694095. Epub 2016 Mar 10.


Myc is one of the original reprogramming factors used to produce induced pluripotent stem cells. However, it is not necessary, instead its main role is to increase the efficiency of the reprogramming. The article by Scognamiglio et al (2016) helps clarify how. The authors show that Myc depletion leads to a reversible dormant state consistent with diapause. In this state, the cell sees its proliferation potential diminished but its pluripotency unchanged. The ability to coordinate the induction of this state should have important implications in cell differentiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Mice
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc