Understanding how cell identity is established and maintained is one of the most exciting challenges of molecular biology today. Recent work has added a conserved layer of RNA splicing and other post-transcriptional regulatory processes to the transcriptional and epigenetic networks already known to cooperate in the establishment and maintenance of cell identity. Here we summarize these findings, highlighting specifically the multitude of splicing factors that can modulate the efficiency of somatic cell reprogramming. Distinct patterns of gene expression dynamics of these factors during reprogramming suggest that further improvements in efficiency could be obtained through optimal timing of overexpression or knockdown of individual regulators.
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