Modulating Cell Fate as a Therapeutic Strategy

Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Sep 6;23(3):329-341. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.05.009. Epub 2018 Jun 14.


In injured tissues, regeneration is often associated with cell fate plasticity, in that cells deviate from their normal lineage paths. It is becoming increasingly clear that this plasticity often creates alternative strategies to restore damaged or lost cells. Alternatively, cell fate plasticity is also part and parcel of pathologic tissue transformations that accompany disease. In this Perspective, we summarize a few illustrative examples of physiologic and aberrant cellular plasticity. Then, we speculate on how one could enhance endogenous plasticity to promote regeneration and reverse pathologic plasticity, perhaps inspiring interest in a new class of therapies targeting cell fate modulation.

Keywords: cell plasticity; dedifferentiation; regeneration; regenerative medicine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Plasticity / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods*