Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which include embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, have the potential for unlimited self-renewal and proliferation and the ability to differentiate into all three embryonic germ layers. Human PSCs (hPSCs) are used in drug discovery screening, disease models, and regenerative medicine. These cells maintain a transcriptional regulatory network based on a set of unique transcription factors to maintain their stem cell properties. Downstream of such transcriptional regulatory networks, various stem cell-specific metabolic programs are used to produce energy and metabolites as necessary. hPSCs and differentiated cells utilize different metabolic programs for self-renewal ability and maintenance of quiescence. Understanding the different metabolic features of hPSCs and differentiated cells can contribute to the development of technologies that are useful for regenerative medicine, such as the purification of differentiated cells. This review describes the unique metabolic programs active in hPSCs and their differences from somatic cells, with a focus on cardiomyocytes.
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