Vitamin C in Stem Cell Reprogramming and Cancer

Luisa Cimmino, Benjamin G. Neel, Iannis Aifantis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Vitamin C is an essential dietary requirement for humans. In addition to its known role as an antioxidant, vitamin C is a cofactor for Fe 2+ - and α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (Fe 2+ /α-KGDDs) which comprise a large number of diverse enzymes, including collagen prolyl hydroxylases and epigenetic regulators of histone and DNA methylation. Vitamin C can modulate embryonic stem cell (ESC) function, enhance reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and hinder the aberrant self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through its ability to enhance the activity of either Jumonji C (JmjC) domain-containing histone demethylases or ten-eleven translocation (TET) DNA hydroxylases. Given that epigenetic dysregulation is a known driver of malignancy, vitamin C may play a novel role as an epigenetic anticancer agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-708
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • epigenetics
  • methylation
  • stem cells
  • TET proteins
  • vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin C in Stem Cell Reprogramming and Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this