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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.014
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.162

CiteScore 2018: 3.09

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.482
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.820

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Retrodifferentiation – a mechanism for cellular regeneration?

Ralf Hass
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Biochemistry and Tumor Biology Laboratory, Medical University Hannover, D-30625 Hannover, Germany
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Published Online: 2009-03-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2009.050


Cellular differentiation can be characterized by the acquisition of specified properties during several steps of development whereby the original stem- or precursor-like populations can finally obtain a certain phenotype with highly specific cell functions. The continuing maturation process can be paralleled by progressively reduced proliferative capacity in various cell types functioning as postmitotic tissues. Conversely, other cell populations (e.g., distinct immune cells) may carry out their specific function upon stimulation of proliferation. While these differentiated phenotypes perform their appropriate specific duties throughout the functioning organism, nature may provide an interesting alternative within this concept of life: sometimes, differentiation steps appear to be reversible. Thus, retrograde differentiation – also termed retrodifferentiation – and accordingly rejuvenation may occur when differentiated cells lose their specific properties acquired during previous steps of maturation. Consequently, retrodifferentiation and rejuvenation could provide enormous potential for tissue repair and cell renewal; however, regulatory dysfunctions within these retrograde developments may also involve the risk of tumor promotion.

Keywords: aging; dedifferentiation; life span; longevity; rejuvenation; senescence; transdifferentiation; tumorigenesis

About the article

Received: 2009-01-05

Accepted: 2009-02-26

Published Online: 2009-03-31

Published in Print: 2009-01-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 390, Issue 5/6, Pages 409–416, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2009.050.

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Citing Articles

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Ralf Hass, Juliane von der Ohe, and Hendrik Ungefroren
Cancers, 2019, Volume 11, Number 10, Page 1432
Seong Wook Hwang, Sun Jae Lee, Po Eun Park, Mee Seon Kim, and Han-Ik Bae
Basic and Applied Pathology, 2012, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 22
Jennifer Black, Cheryl M. Coffin, and Louis P. Dehner
Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, 2012, Volume 15, Number 1_suppl, Page 181
Anna Otte, Katharina Mandel, Gesche Reinstrom, and Ralf Hass
Cell Communication and Signaling, 2011, Volume 9, Number 1, Page 20
Sukhada Chaturvedi and Ralf Hass
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 2011, Volume 132, Number 5, Page 213
Ralf Hass
Experimental Gerontology, 2009, Volume 44, Number 10, Page 634
Cornelia Kasper, Antonina Lavrentieva, and Ralf Hass
BIOspektrum, 2011, Volume 17, Number 4, Page 422
Ralf Hass, Cornelia Kasper, Stefanie Böhm, and Roland Jacobs
Cell Communication and Signaling, 2011, Volume 9, Number 1, Page 12

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