E2F transcription factors and their regulatory partners, the pocket proteins (PPs), have emerged as essential regulators of stem cell fate control in a number of lineages. In mammals, this role extends from both pluripotent stem cells to those encompassing all embryonic germ layers, as well as extra-embryonic lineages. E2F/PP-mediated regulation of stem cell decisions is highly evolutionarily conserved, and is likely a pivotal biological mechanism underlying stem cell homeostasis. This has immense implications for organismal development, tissue maintenance, and regeneration. In this article, we discuss the roles of E2F factors and PPs in stem cell populations, focusing on mammalian systems. We discuss emerging findings that position the E2F and PP families as widespread and dynamic epigenetic regulators of cell fate decisions. Additionally, we focus on the ever expanding landscape of E2F/PP target genes, and explore the possibility that E2Fs are not simply regulators of general 'multi-purpose' cell fate genes but can execute tissue- and cell type-specific gene regulatory programs.
Julian, L. M., & Blais, A. (2015). Transcriptional control of stem cell fate by E2Fs and pocket proteins. Frontiers in Genetics. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2015.00161