Authors listAndreas Hasso Ehrensberger Jesper Svejstrup
Cellular reprogramming involves the artificial dedifferentiation of somatic cells to a pluripotent state. When affected by overexpressing specific transcription factors, the process is highly inefficient, as only 0.1-1% of cells typically undergo the transformation. This low efficiency has been attributed to high kinetic barriers that affect all cells equally and can only be overcome by rare stochastic events. The barriers to reprogramming are likely to involve transformations of chromatin state because (i) inhibitors of chromatin-modifying enzymes can enhance the efficiency of reprogramming and (ii) knockdown or knock-out of chromatin-modifying enzymes can lower the efficiency of reprogramming. Here, we review the relationship between chromatin state transformations (chromatin reprogramming) and cellular reprogramming, with an emphasis on transcription factors, chromatin remodeling factors, histone modifications and DNA methylation.