The study, which appears in the December 18 online version of Cell Stem Cell and the January 2009 print edition of the journal, provides proof of principle that alternative sources of stem cells can be created.
The team, which included scientists from Scripps Research, Peking University, and the University of California, San Diego, conducted the studies to establish novel rat induced pluripotent stem cell lines (riPSCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cell lines (hiPSCs) by using a specific cocktail of chemicals combined with genetic reprogramming, a process whereby an adult cell is returned to its early embryonic state. Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body.
The ability to create pluripotent stem cells (i.e. cells just as flexible as cells removed from embryos) from adult cells promises to allow us to create immunologically compatible replacement organs and stem cell therapies.
(Boston) -- A Boston University School of Medicine-led research team has discovered a more efficient way to create induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, derived from mouse fibroblasts, by using a single virus vector instead of multiple viruses in the reprogramming process. The result is a powerful laboratory tool and a significant step toward the application of embryonic stem cell-like cells for clinical purposes such as the regeneration of organs damaged by inherited or degenerative diseases, including emphysema, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer's Disease.
Their research titled "iPS Cell Generation Using a Single Lentiviral Stem Cell Cassette" appears on line in the journal Stem Cells.
Prior research studies have required multiple retroviral vectors for reprogramming -- steps that depended on four different viruses to transfer genes into the cells' DNA – essentially a separate virus for each reprogramming gene (Oct4. Klf4, Sox2 and cMyc). Upon activation these genes convert the cells from their adult, differentiated status to what amounts to an embryonic-like state.
Research papers on easier and better ways to create pluripotent stem cells keep coming and coming. Restrictions on creation of pluripotent stem cells from embryos are going to matter less and less as these alternative ways to create such cells keep getting better.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 January 08 10:25 PM Biotech Stem Cells|