Roles for chromatin regulators during differentiation of embryonic stem cells
Author(s)Whyte, Warren A. (Warren Anthony)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biology.
Richard A. Young.
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Mammalian development involves the process by which a single fertilized egg develops into an adult with over 200 specialized cell types, each with a distinct gene expression pattern controlling its cellular state. As cells differentiate into specialized cell types, changes in the gene expression program occur with associated changes in chromatin. An understanding of the roles for chromatin regulators in the control of gene expression programs during differentiation is fundamental to understanding development. Although it is not yet feasible to elucidate the functions of all chromatin regulators in all vertebrate cells, recent work in embryonic stem (ES) cells has demonstrated that regulatory features of differentiation can be elucidated by focusing on the chromatin regulators involved in the changes in the pluripotent gene expression program as ES cells differentiate. New insights reveal that chromatin regulators of opposing functions share a common set of active genes in ES cells, suggesting a dynamic balance in the control of embryonic stem cell state and differentiation. I describe here the molecular mechanisms by which chromatin regulators contribute to the control of the ES cell state and differentiation, where these regulators play critical roles both in activating new gene expression programs and in silencing old programs.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Biology, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology