Stem Cells International

Epigenetic Regulation of Stem Cell Fate

Publishing date
01 Dec 2020
Submission deadline
24 Jul 2020

Lead Editor

1Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

2Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

3Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.

Epigenetic Regulation of Stem Cell Fate

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.


The development, homeostasis, and regeneration of tissues and organs depend on stem cells and their proper fate commitment. Epigenetic regulation plays a key role in cell fate determination, including totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent, or differentiated cells. It regulates the transcriptional and translational dynamics of stem cells without altering their genetic sequence. It functions through different mechanisms, such as histone and DNA modification, genomic imprinting, noncoding RNAs, and RNA editing. Growing clinical and laboratory studies have reported pathological conditions resulted from compromised cell differentiation trajectory in the context of epigenetic dysregulation.

It is therefore necessary to elucidate the epigenetic control on stem cell fate. Recent advances have unraveled some epigenetic factors on stem cell identity and plasticity. Examples include the contribution of dynamic chromatin to embryonic stem cell differentiation and overall organism development, messenger RNA chemical modification (e.g. N6-methyladenosine, N1-methyladenosine, 5-methylcytosine) on hematopoietic, spermatogonial, mesenchymal and cancer stem cell fate decision, and transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA modification on neural development and disorder. However, the epigenetic mechanism of stem cells remains largely unexplored.

This Special Issue invites researchers to contribute original research and review articles discussing the epigenetic control of stem cell fate in development and tissue homeostasis, and its role in the pathogenesis and advances in epigenetic-based strategies to restore normal cellular identity.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • New insights into chromatin plasticity from cellular heterogeneity and cell identity during development and throughout life. Topics should be restricted to DNA modifications, histone variants, chaperones and heterochromatin factors, etc.
  • Chemical modifications and protein kinases important for messenger RNA processing and maturation, and their regulation on stem cell fate commitment and diseases
  • Translational control of cellular identity by non-coding RNAs and ribosomal RNAs
  • Technique advances to capture the transient and specialized transcriptional landscape in individual stem cell differentiation
  • Construction of an in vitro cellular model for epigenetic control on differentiation trajectory
  • Characterization of cellular identity with epigenetic indicators
  • Therapeutic strategies based on epigenetic cues to reverse stem cell fate and improve treatment outcome
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.