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.

Related Articles


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 December 22, 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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