Pluripotency describes the ability of a cell to develop into the three primary germ cell layers of the early embryo and therefore into all cells of the adult body, but not extra-embryonic tissues such as the placenta. Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are characterised by their pluripotency.

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  • News and Views |

    G1 cyclins are considered essential for DNA replication and cell division. A recent report now shows that some cells can cycle in the absence of G1 cyclins. In embryonic stem cells and cancer cells, G1 cyclins are required to activate cyclin-dependent kinases to phosphorylate core pluripotency factors and maintain pluripotency.

    • Julia Arand
    •  & Julien Sage
    Nature Cell Biology 19, 149–150
  • News and Views |

    Embryonic stem cells maintain pluripotency through countless mitoses. A recent report shows that the transcription factor Esrrb remains bound to chromatin during mitosis, including at regulatory regions that support pluripotency. Mitotic chromatin occupancy by Esrrb might stabilize the defining transcriptional programmes of embryonic stem cells through cell division.

    • Chris C.-S. Hsiung
    •  & Gerd A. Blobel
    Nature Cell Biology 18, 1124–1125