Chromatin and epigenome in relation to embryogenesis and stem cell differentiation

LU, Kai
Research Associate
Carlton Group
Kyoto University
Presented in the Embryo Physics Course, March 6, 2013


How do embryonic cells differentiate into various cell types during development? The answer is perhaps related to epigenetics—chromatin mechanisms contributing to selective expression of the genome. Spatiotemporal implementation of the epigenetic machinery within the nucleus, e.g. DNA methylation and histone modifications, is not well understood. Importantly, the cause and effect relationship between “the epigenetics” and development is not clear. As an in vitro model for the blastocyst-stage embryo, pluripotent stem cells provide another platform—beside using “real” embryos—to investigate such problems. Here I will attempt to review: How “the epigenetic landscape” has been described in greater details in recent decade(s), by introducing existing knowledge gained from either the embryo or stem cells.




Kai received his PhD from National University of Singapore in 2012. His major interest is using stem cells as a model to study the mechanism of biological development and embryogenesis.

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