The interplay of epigenetic marks during stem cell differentiation and development

Nat Rev Genet. 2017 Nov;18(11):643-658. doi: 10.1038/nrg.2017.57. Epub 2017 Aug 14.


Chromatin, the template for epigenetic regulation, is a highly dynamic entity that is constantly reshaped during early development and differentiation. Epigenetic modification of chromatin provides the necessary plasticity for cells to respond to environmental and positional cues, and enables the maintenance of acquired information without changing the DNA sequence. The mechanisms involve, among others, chemical modifications of chromatin, changes in chromatin constituents and reconfiguration of chromatin interactions and 3D structure. New advances in genome-wide technologies have paved the way towards an integrative view of epigenome dynamics during cell state transitions, and recent findings in embryonic stem cells highlight how the interplay between different epigenetic layers reshapes the transcriptional landscape.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans


  • Chromatin