Paris, 14 August 2014

From rectal cells to neurons : keys to understanding transdifferentiation

How can a specialized cell change its identity? A team from the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/INSERM/Université de Strasbourg) investigated a 100% effective natural example of this phenomenon, which is called transdifferentiation. This process, by which some cells lose their characteristics and acquire a new identity, could be more generally involved in tissue or organ regeneration in vertebrates, and is a promising research avenue for regenerative medicine. This study identifies the role of epigenetic factors involved in this conversion, underlines the dynamic nature of the process, and shows the key mechanisms for effective transdifferentiation. This work, conducted in collaboration with the Institut Curie1, was published on August 15, 2014 in Science.

To download the press release : Press release_Transdifferentiation



(1) Unité Génétique et Biologie du Développement (CNRS/INSERM/Institut Curie)


Sequential Histone Modifying Activities Determines the Robustness of Transdifferentiation; S. Zuryn, A. Ahier, M. Portoso, E. Redhouse White, M.C. Morin, R. Margueron, S. Jarriault; Science; August 15, 2014.


CNRS Researcher l Sophie Jarriault l T 00 33 3 88 65 33 92 l

CNRS Press officer l Lucie Debroux l T 00 33 1 44 96 43 09 l


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