Factors involved in self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells

H. Darr, N. Benvenisty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst stage embryos. These cells possess two unique characteristics: an indefinite self-renewal capacity and pluripotency, the ability to differentiate to cells from the three germ layers. Both human and mouse ES cells are currently at the center of intensive research. One of the burning issues in this research is the way in which these cells remain undifferentiated and maintain their pluripotency. In the past years, data has accumulated concerning the pathways responsible for the unique phenotype of these cells, in both human and mouse. This paper will review the main extrinsic factors and intrinsic transcriptional pathways currently implicated in the self-renewal and pluripotency of ES cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationStem Cells
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media, LLC
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783540261339
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)0171-2004
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0325

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Rachel Eiges and Yoav Mayshar for critical review of the manuscript. This research was partially supported by funds from Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 672/02?1) and by an NIH grant.


  • Embryonic stem (ES) cells
  • Pluripotency
  • Self-renewal


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