Epigenetics and Stem Cells
Nihal Terzi Çizmecioğlu
Abstract: During embryonic development, a fertilized egg divides and differentiates to form all the mature cell types. This stage is under precise temporal and spatial regulation since any deviations from the gross plan will at best form malformations and at worst cause the death of the embryo. What is most interesting is how the expression of different sets of genes is orchestrated to allow for distinct cell type and function to populate the organism. The heritable change of gene expression without any alterations of DNA sequence is called epigenetics. With the help of newest current biological techniques, we are trying to identify the underlying epigenetic facilitators and barriers to embryonic stem cell differentiation. Through our work, we aim to increase the efficiency of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell formation which then can be used in patient-specific disease therapy.