Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seeking superior stem cells: 100-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells

Date:
October 11, 2011
Source:
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Summary:
Researchers have announced a new technique to reprogram human cells into stem cells. Their process increases the efficiency of reprogramming by 100-fold and generates cells of a higher quality at a faster rate. By adding two protein factors to the current mix of four, scientists brought about dramatic improvement in the efficiency of reprogramming and the robustness of stem cell development.

Microscope view of human induced pluripotent stem cells (orange) growing on 'feeder' cells (blue). False color.
Credit: Genome Research Limited

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have announced a new technique to reprogram human cells, such as skin cells, into stem cells. Their process increases the efficiency of cell reprogramming by one hundred-fold and generates cells of a higher quality at a faster rate.

Until now cells have been reprogrammed using four specific regulatory proteins. By adding two further regulatory factors, Liu and co-workers brought about a dramatic improvement in the efficiency of reprogramming and the robustness of stem cell development. The new streamlined process produces cells that can grow more easily.

"This research is a milestone in human stem cells," explains Wei Wang, first author on the research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our technique provides a foundation to unlock the full potential of stem cells."

Stem cells are unspecialized cells that are able to renew themselves through cell division and can be induced to become functional tissue- or organ-specific cells. It is hoped that stem cells will be used to replace dying or damaged cells with healthy, functional cells. This could have wide-ranging uses in medicine such as organ replacement, bone replacement and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

With more than 20 years of research, gold standard stem cells are derived from mice, largely because they are easy to work with and provide accurate and reproducible results. The team's aim was to develop human cells of equivalent quality to mouse stem cells.

"The reprogrammed cells developed by our team have proved to have the same capabilities as mouse stem cells," states Pentao Liu, senior author from the Sanger Institute. "Our approach will enable researchers to easily engineer and reprogramme human stem cells to generate cell types for cell replacement therapies in humans."

Retinoic acid receptor gamma (RAR-γ) and liver receptor homolog (Lrh-1), the additional regulatory factors used by Liu and co-workers, were introduced into the skin cells along with the four other regulatory proteins. The team's technology produced reprogrammed cells after just four days, compared to the seven days required for the four-protein approach. Key indicators of successfully reprogrammed cells, Oct4 and Rex-1 genes, were seen to be switched on much faster in a much higher number of cells, demonstrating increased efficiency in reprogramming.

"This is the most promising and exciting development in our attempt to develop human stem cells that lend themselves in practical applications. It bears comparison to other technologies as it is simple, robust and reliable," says Allan Bradley, Senior Group Leader and Director of Emeritus at Sanger Institute.

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust and by the China Scholarship Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wang et al. Rapid and efficient reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells by retinoic acid receptor gamma and liver receptor homolog. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1100893108

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Seeking superior stem cells: 100-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111010173027.htm>.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. (2011, October 11). Seeking superior stem cells: 100-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111010173027.htm
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Seeking superior stem cells: 100-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111010173027.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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:
from the past week

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