STEM CELLS DEPARTMENT, ROYAN INSTITUTE, TEHRAN, IRAN
Differentiation of stem cells from a pluripotent to a committed state involves global changes in genome expression patterns, the best known as “epigenetic modifications”. Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone modifications, DNA methylation and non-coding RNA-mediated regulatory events are considered as the essential factors to control the heritable cellular memory of gene expression during development. With complete genome sequence in hand, understanding the epigenetic control of genome is the next step towards comprehending how the same DNA sequence gives rise to different cells and lineages, the phenomenon referred to as cell fate specification of stem cells. Here we discuss the epigenetic mechanisms which serve as the master regulators of cellular destiny through development.