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From Embryo to Adult: One Carbon Metabolism in Stem Cells

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Özlem Altundag and Betül Çelebi-Saltik*   Pages 175 - 188 ( 14 )


Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with self-renewal property and varying differentiation potential that allow the regeneration of tissue cells of an organism throughout adult life beginning from embryonic development. Through the asymmetric cell divisions, each stem cell replicates itself and produces an offspring identical with the mother cell, and a daughter cell that possesses the characteristics of a progenitor cell and commits to a specific lineage to differentiate into tissue cells to maintain homeostasis. To maintain a pool of stem cells to ensure tissue regeneration and homeostasis, it is important to regulate the metabolic functioning of stem cells, progenitor cells and adult tissue stem cells that will meet their internal and external needs. Upon fertilization, the zygote transforms metabolic reprogramming while implantation, embryonic development, organogenesis processes and after birth through adult life. Metabolism in stem cells is a concept that is relatively new to be enlightened. There are no adequate and comprehensive in vitro studies on the comparative analysis of the effects of one-carbon (1-C) metabolism on fetal and adult stem cells compared to embryonic and cancer stem cells’ studies that have been reported recently. Since 1-C metabolism is linking parental environmental/ dietary factors and fetal development, investigating the epigenetic, genetic, metabolic and developmental effects on adult period is necessary. Several mutations and abnormalities in 1-C metabolism have been noted in disease changing from diabetes, cancer, pregnancy-related outcomes such as pre-eclampsia, spontaneous abortion, placental abruption, premature delivery, and cardiovascular diseases. In this review, the effects of 1-C metabolism, mainly the methionine and folate metabolism, in stem cells that exist in different developmental stages will be discussed.


Stem cells, one-carbon metabolism, methionine, folic acid, transsulfuration, methylation.


Department of Stem Cell Sciences, Hacettepe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, 06100, Sihhiye, Ankara, Department of Stem Cell Sciences, Hacettepe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, 06100, Sihhiye, Ankara

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