Mechanisms that mediate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation

Haojian Zhang, Zack Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Stem cells have two common properties: the capacity for self-renewal and the potential to differentiate into one or more specialized cell types. In general, stem cells can be divided into two broad categories: adult (somatic) stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Recent evidence suggested that tumors may contain "cancer stem cells" with indefinite potential for self-renewal. In this review, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms regulating embryonic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, and discuss how these mechanisms may be relevant in cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-718
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cellular biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Pluripotency
  • Self-renewal
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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