Concise Review: Human Cell Engineering: Cellular Reprogramming and Genome Editing§

Authors

  • Prashant Mali,

    1. Stem Cell Program, Institute for Cell Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    2. Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Linzhao Cheng

    Corresponding author
    1. Stem Cell Program, Institute for Cell Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    2. Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    • Broadway Research Building 747, 733 North Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA
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    • Telephone: 410-614-6958


  • Author contributions: P.M.: conception and design, manuscript writing, preparing figures, and literature review; L.C.: conception and design, financial support, manuscript writing, literature review, 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 September 8, 2011.

Abstract

Cell engineering is defined here as the collective ability to both reset and edit the genome of a mammalian cell. Until recently, this had been extremely challenging to achieve as nontransformed human cells are significantly refractory to both these processes. The recent success in reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells that are self-renewable in culture, coupled with our increasing ability to effect precise and predesigned genomic editing, now readily permits cellular changes at both the genetic and epigenetic levels. These dual capabilities also make possible the generation of genetically matched, disease-free stem cells from patients for regenerative medicine. The objective of this review is to summarize the key enabling developments on these two rapidly evolving research fronts in human cell engineering, highlight unresolved issues, and outline potential future research directions. STEM CELLS2012;30:75–81

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