Concise Review: Alchemy of Biology: Generating Desired Cell Types from Abundant and Accessible Cells§

Authors

  • Behshad Pournasr,

    1. Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
    2. Department of Developmental Biology, University of Science and Culture, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
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  • Keynoush Khaloughi,

    1. Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
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  • Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh,

    1. Department of Molecular Systems Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
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  • Mehdi Totonchi,

    1. Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
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  • Ebrahim Shahbazi,

    1. Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
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  • Hossein Baharvand

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
    2. Department of Developmental Biology, University of Science and Culture, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
    • Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, P.O. Box 19395-4644, Tehran, Iran
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    • Telephone: +98 21 22306485; Fax: +98 21 23562507


  • Author contributions: B.P. and K.K.: collection and assembly of data, data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript writing; G.H.S.: data analysis and interpretation and manuscript writing; M.T. and E.S.: collection and assembly of data and data analysis and interpretation; and H.B.: conception and design, administrative support, manuscript writing, and final approval of the manuscript.

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

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS October 13, 2011.

Abstract

A major goal of regenerative medicine is to produce cells to participate in the generation, maintenance, and repair of tissues that are damaged by disease, aging, or trauma, such that function is restored. The establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells, followed by directed differentiation, offers a powerful strategy for producing patient-specific therapies. Given how laborious and lengthy this process can be, the conversion of somatic cells into lineage-specific stem/progenitor cells in one step, without going back to, or through, a pluripotent stage, has opened up tremendous opportunities for regenerative medicine. However, there are a number of obstacles to overcome before these cells can be widely considered for clinical applications. Here, we focus on induced transdifferentiation strategies to convert mature somatic cells to other mature cell types or progenitors, and we summarize the challenges that need to be met if the potential applications of transdifferentiation technology are to be achieved. STEM Cells 2011;29:1933–1941.

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