Biotechnology

Still Potent

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Science  21 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5858, pp. 1835
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5858.1835c

By introducing defined transcription factors into mouse and human fibroblasts, stem cell researchers have demonstrated that differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state, in which the resultant iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells display properties similar to those of embryonic stem cells. This work holds great promise for therapy; however, a number of serious obstacles remain. For example, some reprogramming protocols involve the introduction of the c-Myc transcription factor, which has been shown to increase tumorigenicity in mice. Nakagawa et al. describe a modified method for generating mouse and human iPS cells without using c-Myc. This altered protocol shows greater specific induction to iPS cells, albeit at lower efficiency and at a slower rate than when c-Myc is added. — BAP

Nat. Biotechnol. 10.1038/nbt1374 (2007).

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