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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 1 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 25-27

Breaching the Kinetic Barrier to in Vitro Somatic Stem Cell Propagation

Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health and Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, Massachusetts, USA

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Here we have reviewed the conventional definitions and fundamental characteristics of the two basic types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and somatic stem cells (SSCs). By taking into account the often-overlooked asymmetric cell kinetics of SSCs, we consider the evidence that should SSCs retain these growth kinetics in vitro, a natural kinetic barrier to SSC propagation exists. Recent discoveries showing that the tumor suppressor gene p53 can act as a regulator of asymmetric cell kinetics provide a target pathway for in vitro SSC propagation strategies.