Osmotic modulation of chromatin impacts on efficiency and kinetics of cell fate modulation

A. F. Lima, G. May, J. Colunga, S. Pedreiro, A. Paiva, L. Ferreira, T. Enver, F. J. Iborra, R. Pires Das Neves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Chromatin structure is a major regulator of transcription and gene expression. Herein we explore the use of osmotic modulation to modify the chromatin structure and reprogram gene expression. In this study we use the extracellular osmotic pressure as a chromatin structure and transcriptional modulator. Hyposmotic modulation promotes chromatin loosening and induces changes in RNA polymerase II (Pol II) activity. The chromatin decondensation opens space for higher amounts of DNA engaged RNA Pol II. Hyposmotic modulation constitutes an alternative route to manipulate cell fate decisions. This technology was tested in model protocols of induced pluripotency and transdifferentiation in cells growing in suspension and adherent to substrates, CD34 + umbilical-cord-blood (UCB), fibroblasts and B-cells. The efficiency and kinetics of these cell fate modulation processes were improved by transient hyposmotic modulation of the cell environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25517
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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