Extraordinary advances in pluripotent stem cell research have initiated an era of hope for regenerative strategies to treat human disease. Besides embryonic stem cells, the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells widened the possibility of patient-specific cell therapy, drug discovery, and disease modeling. Although similar, it has become clear that these two pluripotent cell types display significant differences. In this review, we explore current knowledge of the molecular and functional similarities and differences between these two cell types to emphasize the necessity for thorough characterization of their properties as well as their differentiation capabilities in the pluripotent state. Such comparative studies will be crucial for determining the more suitable cell type for future stem cell-based therapies for human degenerative diseases.
- Disease modeling
- Embryonic stem cells
- Genome integrity
- Induced pluripotent stem cells