Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

With Few Factors, Adult Cells Take On Character Of Embryonic Stem Cells

Date:
August 11, 2006
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
With the introduction of just four factors, researchers have successfully induced differentiated cells taken from mouse embryos or adult mice to behave like embryonic stem cells. The researchers reported their findings in an immediate early publication of the journal Cell.

With the introduction of just four factors, researchers have successfully induced differentiated cells taken from mouse embryos or adult mice to behave like embryonic stem cells. The researchers reported their findings in an immediate early publication of the journal Cell.

Related Articles


The cells--which the researchers designate "induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPS)--exhibit the physical, growth, and genetic characteristics typical of embryonic stem cells, they reported. "Pluripotent" refers to the ability to differentiate into most other cell types.

"Human embryonic stem cells might be used to treat a host of diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, and diabetes," said Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan. "However, there are ethical difficulties regarding the use of human embryos, as well as the problem of tissue rejection following transplantation into patients."

Those problems could be circumvented if pluripotent cells could be obtained directly from the patients' own cells.

"We have demonstrated that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from fibroblast cultures by the addition of only a few defined factors," Yamanaka said. Fibroblasts make up structural fibers found in connective tissue.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from inner cells of the mammalian blastocyst, a ball of cells that develops after fertilization and goes on to form a developing embryo. Cells from other parts of the body can also be "reprogrammed" by transferring their nuclear contents into egg cell precursors called oocytes or by fusion with embryonic stem cells, earlier studies showed.

Those findings provided evidence that unfertilized eggs and embryonic stem cells contain factors that can confer pluripotency to differentiated cells, Yamanaka said.

"We hypothesized that the factors that play important roles in the maintenance of embryonic stem cell identity also play pivotal roles in the induction of pluripotency" in other body cells, he explained.

The researchers selected 24 genes--all previously found to play a role in early embryos and embryonic stem cell identity--as candidate factors that might give body cells the ability to become other cell types.

The researchers found that four of those factors, known as Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, could lend differentiated fibroblast cells taken from embryonic or adult mice the pluripotency normally reserved for embryonic stem cells.

They further reported that transplantation of the iPS cells under the skin of mice resulted in tumors containing a variety of tissues representing the three primary types found in mammalian embryos. Those primary "germ layers" in embryos eventually give rise to all an animal's tissues and organs.

Following injection into blastocysts, iPS cells also contributed to mouse embryonic development.

"The finding is an important step in controlling pluripotency, which may eventually allow the creation of pluripotent cells directly from somatic cells of patients," Yamanaka said.

While the findings could have wide applications, stem cell experts caution that the study of embryonic stem cells has much further to go.

"We still do not know whether the four factors can generate pluripotent cells from human somatic cells," Yamanaka said. Use of c-Myc, a gene implicated in many human cancers, may not be suitable for clinical applications, they added, and the process may require specific culture environments. It also remains unclear whether iPS cells can do everything that embryonic stem cells can.

The researchers include Kazutoshi Takahashi of the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan and Shinya Yamanaka of the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency in Kawaguchi, Japan.

This work was supported in part by research grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan to S.Y. This work is also supported in part by the Takeda Science Foundation, the Osaka Cancer Research Foundation, the Inamori Foundation, the Mitsubishi Pharma Research Foundation, and the Sankyo Foundation of Life Science and by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Medical Association to S.Y. K.T. was supported by a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Takahashi et al.: "Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Mouse Embryonic and Adult Fibroblast Cultures by Defined Factors" Publishing online August 10; Scheduled for the August 25, 2006 issue of Cell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "With Few Factors, Adult Cells Take On Character Of Embryonic Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060811081150.htm>.
Cell Press. (2006, August 11). With Few Factors, Adult Cells Take On Character Of Embryonic Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060811081150.htm
Cell Press. "With Few Factors, Adult Cells Take On Character Of Embryonic Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060811081150.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins