Context-Dependent Enhancement of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Reprogramming by Silencing Puma§

Authors


  • Author contributions: B.B.L.: conception and design, collection and/or assembly of data, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, and final approval of manuscript; J.F., L.K., and X.F.: collection and/or assembly of data, data analysis and interpretation, and final approval of manuscript; J.R.J.: provision of study material or patients and final approval of manuscript; G.P.Z.: provision of study material or patients, manuscript writing, and final approval of manuscript; Y.X.: conception and design, financial support, administrative support, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, and final approval of manuscript.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS January 14, 2012.

Abstract

Reprogramming of the somatic state to pluripotency can be induced by a defined set of transcription factors including Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc [Cell 2006;126:663-676]. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise in human therapy and disease modeling. However, tumor suppressive activities of p53, which are necessary to prevent persistence of DNA damage in mammalian cells, have proven a serious impediment to formation of iPSCs [Nat Methods 2011;8:409-412]. We examined the requirement for downstream p53 activities in suppressing efficiency of reprogramming as well as preventing persistence of DNA damage into the early iPSCs. We discovered that the majority of the p53 activation occurred through early reprogramming-induced DNA damage with the activated expression of the apoptotic inducer Puma and the cell cycle inhibitor p21. While Puma deficiency increases reprogramming efficiency only in the absence of c-Myc, double deficiency of Puma and p21 has achieved a level of efficiency that exceeded that of p53 deficiency alone. We further demonstrated that, in both the presence and absence of p21, Puma deficiency was able to prevent any increase in persistent DNA damage in early iPSCs. This may be due to a compensatory cellular senescent response to reprogramming-induced DNA damage in pre-iPSCs. Therefore, our findings provide a potentially safe approach to enhance iPSC derivation by transiently silencing Puma and p21 without compromising genomic integrity. STEM CELLS 2012;30:888–897

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