Metabolic determinants of embryonic development and stem cell fate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Decoding stem cell metabolism has implicated a tight linkage between energy metabolism and cell fate regulation, a dynamic interplay vital in the execution of developmental and differentiation programs. The inherent plasticity in energy metabolism enables prioritisation of metabolic pathways in support of stage-specific demands. Beyond traditional support of energetic needs, intermediate metabolism may also dictate cell fate choices through regulation of cellular signalling and epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The notion of a 'metabolism-centric' control of stem cell differentiation has been informed by developmental embryogenesis based upon an on-demand paradigm paramount in defining diverse developmental behaviours, from a post-fertilisation nascent zygote to complex organogenesis leading to adequate tissue formation and maturation. Monitored through natural or bioengineered stem cell surrogates, nutrientresponsive metabolites are identified as mediators of cross-talk between metabolic flux, cell signalling and epigenetic regulation charting, collectively, whether a cell will self-renew to maintain progenitor pools, lineage specify to ensure tissue (re)generation or remain quiescent to curb stress damage. Thus, bioenergetics are increasingly recognised as integral in governing stemness and associated organogenic decisions, paving the way for metabolism-defined targets in control of embryology, stem cell biology and tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Bioenergetics
  • Differentiation
  • Embryogenesis
  • Metabolomics
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Reprogramming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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