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World J Stem Cells. Jul 26, 2013; 5(3): 61-67
Published online Jul 26, 2013. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v5.i3.61
Perspectives of gene combinations in phenotype presentation
Shihori Tanabe
Shihori Tanabe, Division of Safety Information on Drug, Food and Chemicals, National Institute of Health Sciences, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan
Author contributions: Tanabe S solely contributed to this paper.
Correspondence to: Shihori Tanabe, PhD, Division of Safety Information on Drug, Food and Chemicals, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1, Kami-yoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan. stanabe@nihs.go.jp
Telephone: +81-3-37001141 Fax: +81-3-37076950
Received: February 28, 2013
Revised: May 22, 2013
Accepted: June 8, 2013
Published online: July 26, 2013

Cells exhibit a variety of phenotypes in different stages and diseases. Although several markers for cellular phenotypes have been identified, gene combinations denoting cellular phenotypes have not been completely elucidated. Recent advances in gene analysis have revealed that various gene expression patterns are observed in each cell species and status. In this review, the perspectives of gene combinations in cellular phenotype presentation are discussed. Gene expression profiles change during cellular processes, such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cell death. In addition, epigenetic regulation increases the complexity of the gene expression profile. The role of gene combinations and panels of gene combinations in each cellular condition are also discussed.

Keywords: Gene combination, Cellular phenotype, Stem cell, Cancer stem cell, Gene expression

Core tip: This article discusses the effects of gene combination on cellular phenotype, demonstrating different capacities for proliferation and differentiation. Recent advances in genome technology have revealed that each cell type exhibits different gene expression patterns, suggesting that the combination of genes might represent different cellular features or phenotypes. Because cellular diversity is derived from the regulation of gene expression, it is important to investigate the genes in various cells, including differences between cell types or the processes of cell development. Moreover, because stem cells are used as therapeutics, these gene combinations should be evaluated for the assembly of cells in medicinal use.