Induction of pluripotent stem cells from fetal and adult cynomolgus monkey fibroblasts using four human transcription factors

Junko Okahara-Narita, Rieko Umeda, Shinichiro Nakamura, Takahide Mori, Toshiaki Noce, Ryuzo Torii
Primates; Journal of Primatology 2012, 53 (2): 205-13
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have the potential to become a universal resource for cell-based therapies in regenerative medicine; however, prior to the use of such iPS cell-based therapies, preclinical assessment of their safety and efficacy is essential. Non-human primates serve as valuable animal models for human diseases or biomedical research; therefore, in this study, we generated cynomolgus monkey iPS cells from adult skin and fetal fibroblast cells by the retrovirally mediated introduction of four human transcription factors: c-Myc, Klf4, Oct3/4, and Sox2 (the so-called "Yamanaka factors"). Twenty to 30 days after the introduction of these factors, several cynomolgus monkey embryonic stem (ES) cell-like colonies appeared on SNL and mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder layers. These colonies were picked and cultivated in primate ES medium. Seven iPS cell lines were established, and we detected the expression of pluripotent markers that are also expressed in ES cells. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that these iPS cells expressed endogenous c-Myc, Klf4, Oct3/4, and Sox2 genes, whereas several transgenes were silenced. Embryoid body and teratoma formation showed that the cynomolgus iPS cells had the developmental potential to differentiate into cells of all three primary germ layers. In summary, we generated cynomolgus monkey iPS cells by retrovirus-mediated transduction of the human transcription factors, c-Myc, Klf4, Oct3/4, and Sox2 into adult cynomolgus monkey skin cells and fetal fibroblasts. The cynomolgus monkey is the most relevant primate model for human disease, and the highly efficient generation of monkey iPS cells would allow investigation of the treatments of various diseases in this model via therapeutic cloning.

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