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Want reprogramming? Cut back on the chromatin assembly!

Totipotency, the ability of early embryonic cells to generate a complete adult organism as well as extraembryonic tissue, is a fleeting property found only in very early embryonic cells. A breakthrough study now shows that inhibition of DNA replication–linked nucleosome assembly causes embryonic stem cells to resemble totipotent cells. Notably, inhibition of chromatin assembly stimulates reprogramming during somatic-cell nuclear transfer experiments.

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Figure 1: A new route to efficient reprogramming.

Katie Vicari/Nature Publishing Group

Figure 2: Organization of the chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1) complex.

Katie Vicari/Nature Publishing Group


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The author thanks T. Fazzio for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Paul D Kaufman.

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Kaufman, P. Want reprogramming? Cut back on the chromatin assembly!. Nat Struct Mol Biol 22, 648–650 (2015).

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