Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells that can be isolated and grown in vitro from the inner cell mass of blastocysts. Their potential to differentiate into any cell of the body makes them a promising starting material for cell therapy. Much progress has been made in recent years to develop ES cell differentiation protocols employing cocktails of certain growth factors or by using cell-type-restricted promoters driving the expression of selection markers or fluorescent proteins. However, little is known about the molecular details underlying the earliest processes of mammalian development. Genetic tools that provide novel insight into these processes would be very helpful to gain a better molecular understanding and to design better differentiation protocols. Recently, RNAi has emerged as a powerful technology to perform loss-of-function studies in mammalian cells. This technology should be ideal to identify and study genes required for ES cell self-renewal and differentiation. Here, we review the recent advances and challenges of RNAi research in ES cells and we provide a perspective on possible applications to enhance our understanding of ES cell self-renewal and early differentiation.
|Seiten (von - bis)||11-8|
|Fachzeitschrift||Stem cell reviews|
|Publikationsstatus||Veröffentlicht - 2006|
- Animals, Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology, Humans, Mice, Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology, RNA Interference