c-Myc Is Dispensable for Direct Reprogramming of Mouse Fibroblasts

Cell stem cell (Impact Factor: 22.15). 02/2008; 2(1):10-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2007.12.001
Source: PubMed

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.