Pluripotency of male germline stem cells

Sungtae Kim, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The ethical issues and public concerns regarding the use of embryonic stem (ES) cells in human therapy have motivated considerable research into the generation of pluripotent stem cell lines from non-embryonic sources. Numerous reports have shown that pluripotent cells can be generated and derived from germline stem cells (GSCs) in mouse and human testes during in vitro cultivation. The gene expression patterns of these cells are similar to those of ES cells and show the typical self-renewal and differentiation patterns of pluripotent cells in vivo and in vitro. However, the mechanisms underlying the spontaneous dedifferentiation of GSCs remain to be elucidated. Studies to identify master regulators in this reprogramming process are of critical importance for understanding the gene regulatory networks that sustain the cellular status of these cells. The results of such studies would provide a theoretical background for the practical use of these cells in regenerative medicine. Such studies would also help elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying certain diseases, such as testicular germ cell tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalMolecules and Cells
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Rita Vassena and Cristina Eguizabal for helpful discussions and comments. We also thank May Schwarz for critical reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0015391 and 2010-0011547) and a CIRM training grant.


  • Germline
  • Pluripotency
  • Reprogramming
  • Spermatogonial stem cells
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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