Direct reprogramming of genetically unmodified fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells

Alexander Meissner, Marius Wernig, Rudolf Jaenisch
Nature Biotechnology 2007, 25 (10): 1177-81
In vitro reprogramming of somatic cells into a pluripotent embryonic stem cell-like state has been achieved through retroviral transduction of murine fibroblasts with Oct4, Sox2, c-myc and Klf4. In these experiments, the rare 'induced pluripotent stem' (iPS) cells were isolated by stringent selection for activation of a neomycin-resistance gene inserted into the endogenous Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1) or Nanog loci. Direct isolation of pluripotent cells from cultured somatic cells is of potential therapeutic interest, but translation to human systems would be hindered by the requirement for transgenic donors in the present iPS isolation protocol. Here we demonstrate that reprogrammed pluripotent cells can be isolated from genetically unmodified somatic donor cells solely based upon morphological criteria.

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