Conventional human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), reprogrammed from somatic cells by induced expression of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, are phenotypically different from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In mice, culture in N2B27 serum-free 2i media (mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitors; PD0325901 and CHIR99021) plus leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) (2i+LIF medium) enriches for germline competent ESCs. Here, we demonstrate that flat-shaped hiPSC colonies can be reprogrammed into bowl-shaped multi-potent stem cells (2i-hiPSCs) by using 2i+LIF medium. Mechanical dissociation of 2i-hiPSC colonies enables stable maintenance for >20 passages. Importantly, gene expression profiling demonstrated that 2i-hiPSCs more closely resemble primitive neural stem cells (PNSCs). Notably, this 2i-induced phenotype was generated from conventional hiPSCs, but not human ESCs (hESCs), thus correlating with the observation of neuroectodermal SOX1-positive colonies in conventional hiPSCs, but not hESCs in 2i+LIF medium. Thus, 2i-hiPSCs, which are nonteratoma forming PNSCs, may represent a safe source of cells for neural research and regenerative medicine.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are generated by directly reprogramming somatic cells by forcing them to express the exogenous transcription factors, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc (OSKM). These cells could potentially be used in clinical applications and basic research. Here, we explored the molecular role of Sox2 by generating iPSCs that expressed Sox2 at various levels. Low Sox2 (LS) expression increased the efficiency of generating partially reprogrammed iPSCs in combination with OKM. Notably, we detected a significant increase in the number of fully reprogrammed iPSCs with three factors of OK and LS. LS expression was linked with the reduced expression of ectoderm and mesoderm marker genes. This indicates that cell differentiation into the ectoderm and mesoderm lineages was impeded during reprogramming. The quality of the iPSCs that was generated by using OK and LS was comparable to that of iPSCs that were produced via conventional OSK as seen by pluripotent marker gene expression and chimera formation. We conclude that Sox2 plays a crucial role in a dose-dependent manner in direct reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs.
Practical clinical applications for current induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies are hindered by very low generation efficiencies. Here, we demonstrate that newborn human (h) and mouse (m) extra-embryonic amnion (AM) and yolk-sac (YS) cells, in which endogenous KLF4/Klf4, c-MYC/c-Myc and RONIN/Ronin are expressed, can be reprogrammed to hiPSCs and miPSCs with efficiencies for AM cells of 0.02% and 0.1%, respectively. Both hiPSC and miPSCs are indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells in colony morphology, expression of pluripotency markers, global gene expression profile, DNA methylation status of OCT4 and NANOG, teratoma formation and, in the case of miPSCs, generation of germline transmissible chimeric mice. As copious amounts of human AM cells can be collected without invasion, and stored long term by conventional means without requirement for in vitro culture, they represent an ideal source for cell banking and subsequent on demand generation of hiPSCs for personal regenerative and pharmaceutical applications.
We recently reported that feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) with splenomegaly native to Japan were carriers of a Babesia microti-like parasite identical to that found in the United States, which was likely introduced to Japan from North America via raccoons imported as pets. Thus, we attempted extensive molecular survey for piroplasma infections of feral raccoon with normal spleen in Hokkaido, Japan using nested PCR that target broadly to 18S ribosomal RNA gene (SSU-rDNA) of all the parasites in the genus Babesia, Theileria, Cytauxzoon and B. microti group. Of the 348 raccoon samples analyzed, 9 gave positive signals. Cloning and phylogenetic analysis on SSU-rDNA sequences revealed that six of nine positives were found to be infected with Babesia and the remaining three with previously unreported Sarcocystis. Babesia sequences were further separated into two distantly related groups, those that reside in a novel phylogenetic group were consisted solely of four parasites found in this study, while those which included one identical sequence found in the three of our specimens were assembled together with both Babesia parasites of ticks in Japan and of raccoons in U.S. These results may indicate that not only a B. microti-like parasite but also at least two yet undescribed Babesia species are being established in their new life cycles in the feral raccoon populations in Japan.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are reprogrammed by transient expression of transcription factors in somatic cells. Approximately 1% of somatic cells can be reprogrammed into iPSCs, while the remaining somatic cells are differentially reprogrammed. Here, we established induced pluripotent cancer stem-like cells (iCSCs) as self-renewing pluripotent cell clones. Stable iCSC lines were established from unstable induced epithelial stem cell (iESC) lines through re-plating followed by embryoid body formation and serial transplantation. iCSCs shared the expression of pluripotent marker genes with iPSCs, except for REX1 and LIN28, while exhibited the expression of somatic marker genes EMP1 and PPAR?. iESCs and iCSCs could generate teratomas with high efficiency by implantation into immunodeficient mice. The second iCSCs isolated from dissociated cells of teratoma from the first iCSCs were stably maintained, showing a gene expression profile similar to the first iCSCs. In the first and second iCSCs, transgene-derived Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc were expressed. Comparative global gene expression analyses demonstrated that the first iCSCs were similar to iESCs, and clearly different from human iPSCs and somatic cells. In iCSCs, gene expression kinetics of the core pluripotency factor and the Myc-related factor were pluripotent type, whereas the polycomb complex factor was somatic type. These findings indicate that pluripotent tumorigenicity can be conferred on somatic cells through up-regulation of the core pluripotency and Myc-related factors, prior to establishment of the iPSC molecular network by full reprogramming through down-regulation of the polycomb complex factor.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated by epigenetic reprogramming of personal somatic cells have limited therapeutic capacity for patients suffering from genetic disorders. Here we demonstrate restoration of a genomic mutation heterozygous for Pkd1 (polycystic kidney disease 1) deletion (Pkd1(+/-) to Pkd1(+/R+)) by spontaneous mitotic recombination. Notably, recombination between homologous chromosomes occurred at a frequency of 1~2 per 10,000 iPSCs. Southern blot hybridization and genomic PCR analyses demonstrated that the genotype of the mutation-restored iPSCs was indistinguishable from that of the wild-type cells. Importantly, the frequency of cyst generation in kidneys of adult chimeric mice containing Pkd1(+/R+) iPSCs was significantly lower than that of adult chimeric mice with parental Pkd1(+/-) iPSCs, and indistinguishable from that of wild-type mice. This repair step could be directly incorporated into iPSC development programmes prior to cell transplantation, offering an invaluable step forward for patients carrying a wide range of genetic disorders.
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