Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are defined by their simultaneous capacity for limitless self-renewal and the ability to specify cells borne of all germ layers. The regulation of ESC pluripotency is governed by a set of core transcription factors that regulate transcription by interfacing with nuclear proteins that include the RNA polymerase II core transcriptional machinery, histone modification enzymes, and chromatin remodeling protein complexes. The growing adoption of systems biological approaches used in stem cell biology over last few years has contributed significantly to our understanding of pluripotency. Multilayered approaches coupling transcriptome profiling and proteomics (Nanog-, Oct4-, and Sox2-centered protein interaction networks or "interactomes") with transcription factor chromatin occupancy and epigenetic footprint measurements have enabled a more comprehensive understanding of ESC pluripotency and selfrenewal. Together with the genetic and biochemical characterization of promising pluripotency modifying proteins, these systems biological approaches will continue to clarify the molecular underpinnings of the ESC state. This will most certainly contribute to the improvement of current methodologies for the derivation of pluripotent cells from adult tissues.