Hypoxia Enhances Direct Reprogramming of Mouse Fibroblasts to Cardiomyocyte-Like Cells

Yanyan Wang, Shujun Shi, Huiwen Liu, Li Meng
Cellular Reprogramming 2016, 18 (1): 1-7
Recent work has shown that mouse and human fibroblasts can be reprogrammed to cardiomyocyte-like cells with a combination of transcription factors. Current research has focused on improving the efficiency and mechanisms for fibroblast reprogramming. Previously, it has been reported that hypoxia enhances fibroblast cell reprogramming to pluripotent stem cells. In this study, we observed that 6 h of hypoxic conditions (2% oxygen) on newborn mouse dermal fibroblasts can improve the efficiency of reprogramming to cardiomyocyte-like cells. Expression of cardiac-related genes and proteins increased at 4 weeks after transfer of three transcription factors (Gata4/Mef2c/Tbx5 [GMT]). However, beating cardiomyocyte cells were not detected. The epigenetic mechanism of hypoxia-induced fibroblast reprogramming to cardiomyocyte cells requires further study.

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