[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Graphical Abstract Highlights d Human blood can be directly converted to tripotent iNPCs with a single factor d BD-iNPCs uniquely differentiate to neurons with properties of both CNS and PNS d Conversion process toward iNPCs from blood differs from fibroblasts d Nociceptive neurons recapitulate chemo-induced neuropathy in a screening format Correspondence firstname.lastname@example.org In Brief Using OCT-4-induced direct reprogramming, Lee et al. convert human blood to neural progenitors with both CNS and PNS developmental capacity. This fate alternation is distinct from fibroblasts that are primed for neural potential. Furthermore, human sensory neurons derived from blood phenocopy chemo-induced neuropathy in formats suitable for drug screening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide an invaluable source for regenerative medicine, but are limited by proficient lineage-specific differentiation. Here we reveal that hiPSCs derived from human fibroblasts (Fibs) versus human cord blood (CB) exhibit indistinguishable pluripotency, but harbour biased propensities for differentiation. Genes associated with germ layer specification were identical in Fib- or CB-derived iPSCs, whereas lineage-specific marks emerge upon differentiation induction of hiPSCs that were correlated to the cell of origin. Differentiation propensities come at the expense of other lineages and cannot be overcome with stimuli for alternative cell fates. Although incomplete DNA methylation and distinct histone modifications of lineage-specific loci correlate to lineage-specific transcriptome priming, transitioning hiPSCs into naive state of pluripotency removes iPSC-memorized transcriptome. Upon re-entry to the primed state, transcriptome memory is restored, indicating a human-specific phenomenon whereby lineage gated developmental potential is not permanently erased, but can be modulated by the pluripotent state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selective targeting of cancer stem cells (CSCs) offers promise for a new generation of therapeutics. However, assays for both human CSCs and normal stem cells that are amenable to robust biological screens are limited. Using a discovery platform that reveals differences between neoplastic and normal human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), we identify small molecules from libraries of known compounds that induce differentiation to overcome neoplastic self-renewal. Surprisingly, thioridazine, an antipsychotic drug, selectively targets the neoplastic cells, and impairs human somatic CSCs capable of in vivo leukemic disease initiation while having no effect on normal blood SCs. The drug antagonizes dopamine receptors that are expressed on CSCs and on breast cancer cells as well. These results suggest that dopamine receptors may serve as a biomarker for diverse malignancies, demonstrate the utility of using neoplastic hPSCs for identifying CSC-targeting drugs, and provide support for the use of differentiation as a therapeutic strategy.