Molecular mechanisms controlling the cell cycle in embryonic stem cells

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Embryonic stem (ES) cells are originated from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst stage embryo. They can proliferate indefinitely, maintain an undifferentiated state (self-renewal), and differentiate into any cell type (pluripotency). ES cells have an unusual cell cycle structure, consists mainly of S phase cells, a short G1 phase and absence of G1/S checkpoint. Cell division and cell cycle progression are controlled by mechanisms ensuring the accurate transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. Therefore, control of cell cycle is a complicated process, involving several signaling pathways. Although great progress has been made on the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of ES cell cycle, many regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms regulating the cell cycle of ES cells and describes the relationship existing between cell cycle progression and the self-renewal.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA003
Pages (from-to)764-773
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013



  • ES cells
  • G1 phase
  • Pathway
  • Pluripotency
  • Self-renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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