A scalable approach to prevent teratoma formation of human embryonic stem cells
ABSTRACT As the renewable source of all cell types in the body, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) hold great promise for human cell therapy. However, one major bottleneck that hinders the clinic application of hESCs is that hESCs remaining with their differentiated derivatives pose cancer risk by forming teratomas after transplantation. NANOG is a critical pluripotency factor specifically expressed in hESCs but rarely in their differentiated derivatives. By introducing a hyperactive variant of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene into the 3'-untranslated region of the endogenous NANOG gene of hESCs through homologous recombination, we developed a safe and highly scalable approach to efficiently eliminate the teratoma risk associated with hESCs without apparent negative impact on their differentiated cell types. As thymidine kinase is widely used in human gene therapy trials and is the therapeutic target of U. S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, our strategy could be effectively applied to the clinic development of hESC-based human cell therapy.
- SourceAvailable from: Shengyun Zhu
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- "The flow cytometric analysis of the surface expression of hESC-specific markers, TRA 1-61, TRA 1-81, SSEA3, and SSEA4, was analyzed as described elsewhere (Rong et al., 2012). Briefly, 5 3 10 5 cells were washed with PBS and stained for 1 hr at room temperature with primary antibody. "
ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) hold great promise for cell therapy as a source of diverse differentiated cell types. One key bottleneck to realizing such potential is allogenic immune rejection of hESC-derived cells by recipients. Here, we optimized humanized mice (Hu-mice) reconstituted with a functional human immune system that mounts a vigorous rejection of hESCs and their derivatives. We established knockin hESCs that constitutively express CTLA4-Ig and PD-L1 before and after differentiation, denoted CP hESCs. We then demonstrated that allogenic CP hESC-derived teratomas, fibroblasts, and cardiomyocytes are immune protected in Hu-mice, while cells derived from parental hESCs are effectively rejected. Expression of both CTLA4-Ig, which disrupts T cell costimulatory pathways, and PD-L1, which activates T cell inhibitory pathway, is required to confer immune protection, as neither was sufficient on their own. These findings are instrumental for developing a strategy to protect hESC-derived cells from allogenic immune responses without requiring systemic immune suppression.Cell stem cell 01/2014; 14(1):121-30. DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2013.11.014 · 22.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) opens a new avenue in regenerative medicine. However, transplantation of hiPSC-derived cells carries a risk of tumor formation by residual pluripotent stem cells. Numerous adaptive strategies have been developed to prevent or minimize adverse events and control the in vivo behavior of transplanted stem cells and their progeny. Among them, the application of suicide gene modifications, which is conceptually similar to cancer gene therapy, is considered an ideal means to control wayward stem cell progeny in vivo. In this review, the choices of vectors, promoters, and genes for use in suicide gene approaches for improving the safety of hiPSCs-based cell therapy are introduced and possible new strategies for improvements are discussed. Safety-enhancing strategies that can selectively ablate undifferentiated cells without inducing virus infection or insertional mutations may greatly aid in translating human pluripotent stem cells into cell therapies in the future.Organogenesis 01/2013; 9(1). DOI:10.4161/org.24317 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: When sterile culture techniques of mammalian cells first became state of the art, there was tremendous anticipation that such cells could be eventually applied for therapeutic purposes. The discovery of adult human stem or progenitor cells further motivated scientists to pursue research in cell-based therapies. Although evidence from animal studies suggests that application of cells yields measurable benefits, in urology and many other disciplines, progenitor-cell-based therapies are not yet routinely clinically available. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a condition affecting a large number of patients. The etiology of SUI includes, but is not limited to, degeneration of the urinary sphincter muscle tissue and loss of innervation, as well as anatomical and biomechanical causes. Therefore, different regimens were developed to treat SUI. However, at present, a curative functional treatment is not at hand. A progenitor-cell-based therapy that can tackle the etiology of incontinence, rather than the consequences, is a promising strategy. Therefore, several research teams have intensified their efforts to develop such a therapy for incontinence. Here, we introduce candidate stem and progenitor cells suitable for SUI treatment, show how the functional homogeneity and state of maturity of differentiated cells crucial for proper tissue integration can be assessed electrophysiologically prior to their clinical application, and discuss the trophic potential of adult mesenchymal stromal (or stem) cells in regeneration of neuronal function.Current Urology Reports 07/2013; 14(5). DOI:10.1007/s11934-013-0352-7 · 1.51 Impact Factor