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.
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ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cells are the foundations of regenerative medicine. However, the worst possible complication of using pluripotent stem cells in therapy could be iatrogenic cancerogenesis. Nevertheless, despite the rapid progress in the development of new techniques for induction of pluripotency and for directed differentiation, risks of cancerogenic transformation of therapeutically implanted pluripotent stem cells still persist. 'Above all, do no harm', as quoted from the Hippocratic Oath, is our ultimate creed. Therefore, the primary goal in designing any therapeutic regimes involving stem cells should be the elimination of any possibilities of their neoplasmic transformation. I review here the basic strategies that have been designed to attain this goal: sorting out undifferentiated, pluripotent stem cells with antibodies targeting surface-displayed biomarkers; sorting in differentiating cells, which express recombinant proteins as reporters; killing undifferentiated stem cells with toxic antibodies or antibody-guided toxins; eliminating undifferentiated stem cells with cytotoxic drugs; making potentially tumorigenic stem cells sensitive to pro-drugs by transformation with suicide-inducing genes; eradication of differentiation-refractive stem cells by self-triggered transgenic expression of human recombinant DNases. Every pluripotent undifferentiated stem cell poses a risk of neoplasmic transformation. Therefore, the aforementioned or other novel strategies that would safeguard against iatrogenic transformation of these stem cells should be considered for incorporation into every stem cell therapy trial.Stem Cell Research & Therapy 06/2014; 5(3):73. DOI:10.1186/scrt462 · 4.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapies have had tremendous potential application for many diseases in recent years. However, the tumorigenic properties of stem cells restrict their potential clinical application; therefore, strategies for reducing the tumorigenic potential of stem cells must be established prior to transplantation. We have demonstrated that syngeneic transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) provokes an inflammatory response that involves the rapid recruitment of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). ESCs are able to prevent mature macrophages from macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) withdrawal-induced apoptosis, and thus prolong macrophage lifespan significantly by blocking various apoptotic pathways in an M-CSF-independent manner. ESCs express and secrete IL-34, which may be responsible for ESC-promoted macrophage survival. This anti-apoptotic effect of ESCs involves activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and PI3K/Akt pathways and thus, inhibition of ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT activation decreases ESC-induced macrophage survival. Functionally, ESC-treated macrophages also showed a higher level of phagocytic activity. ESCs further serve to polarize BMDMs into M2-like macrophages that exhibit most tumor-associated macrophage phenotypic and functional features. ESC-educated macrophages produce high levels of arginase-1, Tie-2, and TNF-α, which participate in angiogenesis and contribute to teratoma progression. Our study suggests that induction of M2-like macrophage activation is an important mechanism for teratoma development. Strategies targeting macrophages to inhibit teratoma development would increase the safety of ESC-based therapies, inasmuch as the depletion of macrophages completely inhibits ESC-induced angiogenesis and teratoma development.Frontiers in Immunology 07/2014; 5:275. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00275
Article: Safeguarding Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Therapy against Iatrogenic Cancerogenesis: Transgenic Expression of DNASE1, DNASE1L3, DNASE2, DFFB Controlled By POLA1 Promoter in Proliferating and Directed Differentiation Resisting Human Autologous Pluripotent Induced Stem Cells Leads to their Death[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The worst possible complication of using stem cells for regenerative therapy is iatrogenic cancerogenesis. The ultimate goal of our work is to develop a self-triggering feedback mechanism aimed at causing death of all stem cells, which resist directed differentiation, keep proliferating, and can grow into tumors.07/2013; Suppl 9(5). DOI:10.4172/2157-7633.S9-005