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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Induced pluripotency with endogenous and inducible genes

Dirk Duinsbergen, Malin Eriksson, Peter A C 't Hoen, Jonas Frisén, Harald Mikkers
Experimental Cell Research 2008 October 15, 314 (17): 3255-63
18656469
The recent discovery that two partly overlapping sets of four genes induce nuclear reprogramming of mouse and even human cells has opened up new possibilities for cell replacement therapies. Although the combination of genes that induce pluripotency differs to some extent, Oct4 and Sox2 appear to be a prerequisite. The introduction of four genes, several of which been linked with cancer, using retroviral approaches is however unlikely to be suitable for future clinical applications. Towards developing a safer reprogramming protocol, we investigated whether cell types that express one of the most critical reprogramming genes endogenously are predisposed to reprogramming. We show here that three of the original four pluripotency transcription factors (Oct4, Klf4 and c-Myc or MYCER(TAM)) induced reprogramming of mouse neural stem (NS) cells exploiting endogenous SoxB1 protein levels in these cells. The reprogrammed neural stem cells differentiated into cells of each germ layer in vitro and in vivo, and contributed to mouse development in vivo. Thus a combinatorial approach taking advantage of endogenously expressed genes and inducible transgenes may contribute to the development of improved reprogramming protocols.

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