Using MicroRNAs to Enhance the Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Program for RNA Biology, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.
Current protocols in stem cell biology 03/2012; Chapter 4:Unit 4A.4. DOI: 10.1002/9780470151808.sc04a04s20
Source: PubMed


Somatic cells reprogrammed to acquire an ES-like state are termed iPS cells. In this unit, a protocol to use microRNAs as enhancers to increase the reprogramming efficiency is described. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) are isolated from E13.5 mouse embryos and seeded for reprogramming by defined factors. microRNA mimics are transfected into MEFs at two time points during this process to enhance the overall reprogramming efficiency. Two standard protocols for characterization of these miR-iPSCs, embryoid body formation and teratoma formation, are also provided. By using this method, the investigators can obtain a significantly higher number of bona-fide iPSC colonies and miR-iPSCs can be derived at a faster rate than with non-treated cells.

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    • "Work from Ali et al. clearly demonstrates that the post-mitotic photoreceptor precursor cell is the optimal cell type for efficient rod photoreceptor cell replacement (Lakowski et al., 2011; Pearson et al., 2012). A variety of different protocols, utilizing both two-and three-dimensional culture systems, have succeeded in deriving photoreceptor precursor cells from less differentiated precursors (Osakada et al., 2008; Hirami et al., 2009; Meyer et al., 2009; Osakada et al., 2009; Lamba et al., 2010; Meyer et al., 2011; Tucker et al., 2011; Nakano et al., 2012; Phillips et al., 2012; Sasai et al., 2012; Homma et al., 2013; Mekala et al., 2013; Tucker et al., 2013). Although cultured three-dimensional eyecups will undoubtedly have many applications in developmental biology (Nakano et al., 2012; Sasai et al., 2012), two-dimensional systems have the advantage of easier identification and isolation of specific cell types for post-differentiation subculture. "
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    ABSTRACT: Next-generation and Sanger sequencing were combined to identify disease-causing USH2A mutations in an adult patient with autosomal recessive RP. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), generated from the patient’s keratinocytes, were differentiated into multi-layer eyecup-like structures with features of human retinal precursor cells. The inner layer of the eyecups contained photoreceptor precursor cells that expressed photoreceptor markers and exhibited axonemes and basal bodies characteristic of outer segments. Analysis of the USH2A transcripts of these cells revealed that one of the patient’s mutations causes exonification of intron 40, a translation frameshift and a premature stop codon. Western blotting revealed upregulation of GRP78 and GRP94, suggesting that the patient’s other USH2A variant (Arg4192His) causes disease through protein misfolding and ER stress. Transplantation into 4-day-old immunodeficient Crb1−/− mice resulted in the formation of morphologically and immunohistochemically recognizable photoreceptor cells, suggesting that the mutations in this patient act via post-developmental photoreceptor degeneration. DOI:
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · eLife Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: There are an estimated 7,000 "orphan diseases," but treatments are currently available for only about 5% of them. Recent progress in the advanced platforms of gene therapy, stem cell therapy, gene modification, and gene correction offers possibilities for new therapies and cures for rare diseases. Many rare diseases are genetic in origin, and gene therapy is being successfully applied to treat them. Human stem cell therapy, apart from bone marrow transplants, is still experimental. Genetic modification of stem cells can make stem cell-based products more effective. Autologous induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, when combined with new classes of artificial nucleases, have great potential in the ex vivo repair of specific mutated DNA sequences (zinc-finger proteins and transactivator-like effector nucleases). Patient-specific iPS cells can be corrected and transplanted back into the patient. Stem cells secrete paracrine factors that could become new therapeutic tools in the treatment of orphan diseases. Gene therapy and stem cell therapy with DNA repair are promising approaches to the treatment of rare, intractable diseases.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Clinical Pharmacology &#38 Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Fibroblasts can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by application of transcription factors octamer-binding protein 4 (Oct4), SRY-box containing gene 2 (Sox2), Kruppel-like factor 4 (Klf4), and c-Myelocytomatosis oncogene (c-Myc) (OSKM), but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that exogenous Oct4 and Sox2 can bind at the promoter regions of mir-141/200c and mir-200a/b/429 cluster, respectively, and induce the transcription activation of miR-200 family during the OSKM-induced reprogramming. Functional suppression of miR-200s with specific inhibitors significantly represses the OSKM-caused mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET, an early event in reprogramming of fibroblasts to iPSCs) and iPSC generation, whereas overexpression of miR-200s promotes the MET and iPSC generation. Mechanistic studies showed that miR-200s significantly repress the expression of zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2) through directly targeting its 3' UTR and direct inhibition of ZEB2 can mimic the effects of miR-200s on iPSC generation and MET process. Moreover, the effects of miR-200s during iPSC generation can be blocked by ZEB2 overexpression. Collectively, our findings not only reveal that members of the miR-200 family are unique mediators of the reprogramming factors Oct4/Sox2, but also demonstrate that the miR-200/ZEB2 pathway as one critical mechanism of Oct4/Sox2 to induce somatic cell reprogramming at the early stage.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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