Removing Epigenetic Post-it Notes Returns Stem Cells to Unprimed State

A drug originally intended to treat leukemia has an unexpected power. It can reverse stem cell development, converting primed pluripotent stem cells to naïve pluripotent stem cells. The drug, called MM-401, effectively removes epigenetic markers from histones, depriving the cell’s DNA-reading machinery of indications of where to start reading. Stripped of its accumulated “Post-it notes,” the DNA instruction manual is like new. It lacks any indications that any sections should receive any special attention.

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