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Cycling through developmental decisions: how cell cycle dynamics control pluripotency, differentiation and reprogramming

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4301-4311
Number of pages10
Issue number143
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2016


A strong connection exists between the cell cycle and mechanisms required for executing cell fate decisions in a wide-range of developmental contexts. Terminal differentiation is often associated with cell cycle exit, while cell fate switches are frequently linked to cell cycle transitions in dividing cells. These phenomena have been investigated in the context of reprogramming, differentiation and trans-differentiation but the underpinning molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Most progress to address the connection between cell fate and the cell cycle has been made in pluripotent stem cells where the transition through mitosis and G1-phase is critical for establishing a window of opportunity for pluripotency exit and the initiation of differentiation. This Review will summarize recent developments in this area and place them in a broader context that has implications for a wide-range of developmental scenarios.

    Research areas

  • stem cells, cell cycle, cell fate, differentiation, reprogramming, pluripotency

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