Molecular Roadblocks for Cellular Reprogramming
ABSTRACT During development, diverse cellular identities are established and maintained in the embryo. Although remarkably robust in vivo, cellular identities can be manipulated using experimental techniques. Lineage reprogramming is an emerging field at the intersection of developmental and stem cell biology in which a somatic cell is stably reprogrammed into a distinct cell type by forced expression of lineage-determining factors. Lineage reprogramming enables the direct conversion of readily available cells from patients (such as skin fibroblasts) into disease-relevant cell types (such as neurons and cardiomyocytes) or into induced pluripotent stem cells. Although remarkable progress has been made in developing novel reprogramming methods, the efficiency and fidelity of reprogramming need to be improved in order increase the experimental and translational utility of reprogrammed cells. Studying the mechanisms that prevent successful reprogramming should allow for improvements in reprogramming methods, which could have significant implications for regenerative medicine and the study of human disease. Furthermore, lineage reprogramming has the potential to become a powerful system for dissecting the mechanisms that underlie cell fate establishment and terminal differentiation processes. In this review, we will discuss how transcription factors interface with the genome and induce changes in cellular identity in the context of development and reprogramming.
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ABSTRACT: Adrenal disease, whether primary, caused by defects in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, or secondary, caused by defects outside the HPA axis, usually results in adrenal insufficiency, which requires lifelong daily replacement of corticosteroids. However, this kind of therapy is far from ideal as physiological demand for steroids varies considerably throughout the day and increases during periods of stress. The development of alternative curative strategies is therefore needed. In this review, we describe the latest technologies aimed at either isolating or generating de novo cells that could be used for novel, regenerative medicine application in the adrenocortical field.Frontiers in Endocrinology 05/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2015.00070
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ABSTRACT: Cancer is one of the most important diseases of humans, for which no cure has been found so far. Understanding the causes of cancer can pave the way for its treatment. Alteration in genetic elements such as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes results in cancer. The most recent theory for the origin of cancer has been provided by cancer stem cells (CSCs). Tumor-initiating cells (T-ICs) or CSCs are a small population isolated from tumors and hematologic malignancies. Since CSCs are similar to embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in many aspects (such as pluripotency and self-renewal), recognizing the signaling pathways through which ESCs maintain their stemness can also help identify CSC signaling. One component of these signaling pathways is non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). ncRNAs are classified in two groups: microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). miRNAs undergo altered expression in cancer. In this regard, they are classified as Onco-miRNAs or tumor suppressor miRNAs. Some miRNAs play similar roles in ESCs and CSCs, such as let-7 and miR-302. This review focuses on the miRNAs involved in stemness of ESCs and CSCs by presenting a summary of the role of miRNAs in other tumor cells.Oncology Reviews 04/2013; 7(1). DOI:10.4081/oncol.2013.e8
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ABSTRACT: Direct reprogramming technology has emerged as an outstanding technique for the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and various specialized cells directly from somatic cells of different species. Recent studies dissecting the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming have methodologically improved the quality, ease and efficiency of reprogramming and eliminated the need for genome modifications with integrating viral vectors. With these advancements, direct reprogramming technology has moved closer to clinical application. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the cutting-edge findings regarding distinct barriers of reprogramming to pluripotency, strategies to enhance reprogramming efficiency, and chemical reprogramming as one of the non-integrating approaches in iPS cell generation. In addition to direct transdifferentiation, pluripotency factor-induced transdifferentiation or cell activation and signaling directed (CASD) lineage conversion is described as a robust strategy for the generation of both tissue-specific progenitors and clinically relevant cell types. Then, we consider the possibility that a combined method of inhibition of roadblocks (e.g. p53, p21, p57, Mbd3, etc.), and application of enhancing factors in a chemical reprogramming paradigm would be a safe, reliable and effective approach in pluripotent reprogramming and transdifferentiation. Furthermore, with respect to the state of native, aberrant, and target gene regulatory networks in reprogrammed cell populations, CellNet is reviewed as a computational platform capable of evaluating the fidelity of reprogramming methods and refining current engineering strategies. Ultimately, we conclude that a faithful, highly efficient and integration-free reprogramming paradigm would provide powerful tools for research studies, drug-based induced regeneration, cell transplantation therapies and other regenerative medicine purposes. http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/019455