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Mechanistic insights into reprogramming to induced pluripotency

Authors

  • Ritchie Ho,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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  • Constantinos Chronis,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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  • Kathrin Plath

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    • Department of Biological Chemistry, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, 615 Charles E. Young Drive South, BSRB 390D, Los Angeles, CA 90024.
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  • Ritchie Ho and Constantinos Chronis contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from various embryonic and adult cell types upon expression of a set of few transcription factors, most commonly consisting of Oct4, Sox2, cMyc, and Klf4, following a strategy originally published by Takahashi and Yamanaka (Takahashi and Yamanaka, 2006, Cell 126: 663–676). Since iPS cells are molecularly and functionally similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells, they provide a source of patient-specific pluripotent cells for regenerative medicine and disease modeling, and therefore have generated enormous scientific and public interest. The generation of iPS cells also presents a powerful tool for dissecting mechanisms that stabilize the differentiated state and are required for the establishment of pluripotency. In this review, we discuss our current view of the molecular mechanisms underlying transcription factor-mediated reprogramming to induced pluripotency. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 868–878, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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