c-Myc Is Dispensable for Direct Reprogramming of Mouse Fibroblasts
ABSTRACT Retroviral transduction of the four transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc has been shown to initiate a reprogramming process that results in the transformation of mouse fibroblasts into embryonic stem (ES)-like cells designated as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (Maherali et al., 2007, Meissner et al., 2007, Okita et al., 2007, Takahashi and Yamanaka, 2006 and Wernig et al., 2007). The promise of somatic reprogramming is the possibility to generate pluripotent stem cells that are patient specific and can be used as a unique source for autologous cell types for transplantation therapy (Jaenisch, 2004 and Yamanaka, 2007). Many iPS cell-derived animals develop tumors due to the reactivation of the c-Myc virus (Okita et al., 2007), and this represents a major safety concern if we want to translate this approach to humans. It is thus of great importance to achieve reprogramming without this particular oncogene in the future. Here we show that fibroblasts can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state by Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 in the absence of c-Myc.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene Rb are involved in many forms of human cancer. In this study, we investigated the early consequences of inactivating Rb in the context of cellular reprogramming. We found that Rb inactivation promotes the reprogramming of differentiated cells to a pluripotent state. Unexpectedly, this effect is cell cycle independent, and instead reflects direct binding of Rb to pluripotency genes, including Sox2 and Oct4, which leads to a repressed chromatin state. More broadly, this regulation of pluripotency networks and Sox2 in particular is critical for the initiation of tumors upon loss of Rb in mice. These studies therefore identify Rb as a global transcriptional repressor of pluripotency networks, providing a molecular basis for previous reports about its involvement in cell fate pliability, and implicate misregulation of pluripotency factors such as Sox2 in tumorigenesis related to loss of Rb function.Cell Stem Cell 01/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2014.10.019 · 22.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Overexpression of transcription factors has been used to directly reprogram somatic cells into a range of other differentiated cell types, including multipotent neural stem cells (NSCs), that can be used to generate neurons and glia. However, the ability to maintain the NSC state independent of the inducing factors and the identity of the somatic donor cells remain two important unresolved issues in transdifferentiation. Here we used transduction of doxycycline-inducible transcription factors to generate stable tripotent NSCs. The induced NSCs (iNSCs) maintained their characteristics in the absence of exogenous factor expression and were transcriptionally, epigenetically, and functionally similar to primary brain-derived NSCs. Importantly, we also generated tripotent iNSCs from multiple adult cell types, including mature liver and B cells. Our results show that self-maintaining proliferative neural cells can be induced from nonectodermal cells by expressing specific combinations of transcription factors. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Stem Cell Reports 11/2014; 3(6). DOI:10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.10.001
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ABSTRACT: The long-term risk of malignancy associated with stem cell therapies is a significant concern in the clinical application of this exciting technology. We report a cancer-selective strategy to enhance the safety of stem cell therapies. Briefly, using a cell engineering approach, we show that aggressive cancers derived from human or murine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are strikingly sensitive to temporary MYC blockade. On the other hand, differentiated tissues derived from human or mouse iPSCs can readily tolerate temporary MYC inactivation. In cancer cells, endogenous MYC is required to maintain the metabolic and epigenetic functions of the embryonic and cancer-specific pyruvate kinase M2 isoform (PKM2). In summary, our results implicate PKM2 in cancer's increased MYC dependence and indicate dominant MYC inhibition as a cancer-selective fail-safe for stem cell therapies.Cell Reports 09/2014; 8(6). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.039 · 7.21 Impact Factor