Is iPS cell the panacea?



In 2006, it was reported that transgenic expression of merely four defined transcription factors (c-Myc, Klf4, Oct4, and Sox2) is sufficient to reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state. The resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells ignited intense interest in the field of life science for their promising applications in basic biology, drug development, and transplantation. However, the underlying problems of iPS cells seem to be ignored. This review shed light on the problems pertaining iPS cells, including the elusive origin, risk of tumorgenesis, and its relationship with natural selection. © 2010 IUBMB IUBMB Life, 62(3): 170–175, 2010