Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) hold great promise in cell-based therapy because of their pluripotent property and the ability to proliferate indefinitely. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from inner cell mass (ICM) possess unique cell cycle control with shortened G1 phase. In addition, ESCs have high expression of homologous recombination (HR)-related proteins, which repair double-strand breaks (DSBs) through HR or the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway. On the other hand, the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by forced expression of transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc) is accompanied by oxidative stress and DNA damage. The DNA repair mechanism of DSBs is therefore critical in determining the genomic stability and efficiency of iPSCs generation. Maintaining genomic stability in PSCs plays a pivotal role in the proliferation and pluripotency of PSCs. In terms of therapeutic application, genomic stability is the key to reducing the risks of cancer development due to abnormal cell replication. Over the years, we and other groups have identified important regulators of DNA damage response in PSCs, including FOXM1
. They function through transcription regulation of downstream targets (P53
, CDK1) that are involved in cell cycle regulations. Here, we review the fundamental links between the PSC-specific HR process and DNA damage response, with a focus on the roles of FOXM1
on maintaining genomic integrity.
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