The abbreviated pluripotent cell cycle

Kristina Kapinas, Rodrigo Grandy, Prachi Ghule, Ricardo Medina, Klaus Becker, Arthur Pardee, Sayyed K. Zaidi, Jane Lian, Janet Stein, Andre van Wijnen, Gary Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells proliferate rapidly and divide symmetrically producing equivalent progeny cells. In contrast, lineage committed cells acquire an extended symmetrical cell cycle. Self-renewal of tissue-specific stem cells is sustained by asymmetric cell division where one progeny cell remains a progenitor while the partner progeny cell exits the cell cycle and differentiates. There are three principal contexts for considering the operation and regulation of the pluripotent cell cycle: temporal, regulatory, and structural. The primary temporal context that the pluripotent self-renewal cell cycle of hESCs is a short G1 period without reducing periods of time allocated to S phase, G2, and mitosis. The rules that govern proliferation in hESCs remain to be comprehensively established. However, several lines of evidence suggest a key role for the naïve transcriptome of hESCs, which is competent to stringently regulate the embryonic stem cell (ESC) cell cycle. This supports the requirements of pluripotent cells to self-propagate while suppressing expression of genes that confer lineage commitment and/or tissue specificity. However, for the first time, we consider unique dimensions to the architectural organization and assembly of regulatory machinery for gene expression in nuclear microenviornments that define parameters of pluripotency. From both fundamental biological and clinical perspectives, understanding control of the abbreviated ESC cycle can provide options to coordinate control of proliferation versus differentiation. Wound healing, tissue engineering, and cell-based therapy to mitigate developmental aberrations illustrate applications that benefit from knowledge of the biology of the pluripotent cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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