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: Adipose-derived stem cells have the ability to turn into several clinically important cell types. However, it is difficult to transfect these cells with the use of conventional cationic lipid-based reagents. Polyethylenimine (PEI) is considered to be an inexpensive and effective tool for delivery of nucleic acids into mammalian cells. We used a linear PEI conjugated with the nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptide of Simian vacuolating virus 40 large T antigen (PEI-NLS) for transfection of plasmid DNA into adipose-derived cells. We also tested if transfection of cells in suspension might improve the degree and duration of exogenous gene expression. Transfection of cells in suspension with the use of a PEI conjugated with an NLS peptide resulted in high levels of reporter gene expression for an extended period of time in clonal 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and native human adipose-derived stem cells. The reporter gene expression increased for 3 days after the addition of the PEI-NLS peptide-DNA mixture in cell suspension and remained significant for at least 7 days. Cell density did not influence the level of reporter gene expression. Thus, the suspension method with the use of an NLS peptide-conjugated PEI leads to a robust and sustained expression of exogenous genes in adipose-derived cells. The devised transfection method may be useful for reprogramming of adipose-derived stem cells and cell-based therapy. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Cytotherapy 01/2015; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Advances in cellular reprogramming and stem cell differentiation now enable ex vivo studies of human neuronal differentiation. However, it remains challenging to elucidate the underlying regulatory programs because differentiation protocols are laborious and often result in low neuron yields. Here, we overexpressed two Neurogenin transcription factors in human-induced pluripotent stem cells and obtained neurons with bipolar morphology in 4 days, at greater than 90% purity. The high purity enabled mRNA and microRNA expression profiling during neurogenesis, thus revealing the genetic programs involved in the rapid transition from stem cell to neuron. The resulting cells exhibited transcriptional, morphological and functional signatures of differentiated neurons, with greatest transcriptional similarity to prenatal human brain samples. Our analysis revealed a network of key transcription factors and microRNAs that promoted loss of pluripotency and rapid neurogenesis via progenitor states. Perturbations of key transcription factors affected homogeneity and phenotypic properties of the resulting neurons, suggesting that a systems-level view of the molecular biology of differentiation may guide subsequent manipulation of human stem cells to rapidly obtain diverse neuronal types.Molecular Systems Biology 11/2014; 10(11). · 14.10 Impact Factor