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1] Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.  Harvard Stem Cell Institute, 1350 Masschusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.  Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 4000 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA.  Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University and Harvard Medical School, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
Induced pluripotency is a powerful tool to derive patient-specific stem cells. In addition, it provides a unique assay to study the interplay between transcription factors and chromatin structure. Here, we review the latest insights into chromatin dynamics that are inherent to induced pluripotency. Moreover, we compare and contrast these events with other physiological and pathological processes that involve changes in chromatin and cell state, including germ cell maturation and tumorigenesis. We propose that an integrated view of these seemingly diverse processes could provide mechanistic insights into cell fate transitions in general and might lead to new approaches in regenerative medicine and cancer treatment.