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Role of MEF feeder cells in direct reprogramming of mousetail-tip fibroblasts

Authors

  • Mengfei Chen,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
    2. Center for Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
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  • Xuerong Sun,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Ruzhang Jiang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Wenjuan Shen,

    1. Department of Pathophysiology, Medical College of Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
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  • Xiufeng Zhong,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Bingqian Liu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Ying Qi,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Bing Huang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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  • Andy Peng Xiang,

    1. Center for Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
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  • Jian Ge

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
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Tel.: +86 20 87331374; fax: +86 20 87333271. E-mail addresses: gejian@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract

Pluripotent stem cells can be induced from somatic cells by the transcription factors Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4 when co-cultured with mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder cells. To date, the role of the feeder cells in the reprogramming process remains unclear. In this study, using a comparative analysis, we demonstrated that MEF feeder cells did not accelerate reprogramming or increase the frequency of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell colonies. However, feeder conditions did improve the growth of primary iPS colonies and were necessary for passaging the primary colonies after reprogramming was achieved. We further developed a feeder-free culture system for supporting iPS growth and sustaining pluripotency by adding bFGF and activin A (bFA) to the medium. These data will facilitate the generation of human iPS cells without animal feeders for regenerative medicine.

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