Factor in Oocyte Assists Reprogramming

Science Signaling  19 Aug 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 339, pp. ec223
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005805

Unfertilized eggs contain components that can dedifferentiate other cells that have gone down the path toward a specific cell fate. Gonzalez-Muñoz et al. show that the protein-folding factor ASF1A facilitates this reprogramming event and acts at a particular phase of germ cell division termed metaphase II. ASF1A helps turn differentiated cells such as human adult dermal fibroblasts into undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells.

E. Gonzalez-Muñoz, Y. Arboleda-Estudillo, H. H. Otu, J. B. Cibelli, Histone chaperone ASF1A is required for maintenance of pluripotency and cellular reprogramming. Science 345, 822–825 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]