Two new papers have the potential to change the bioethics debate regarding stem cell technology...
These two papers confirm the induction of pluripotent stem cell lines from adult human dermal fibroblasts as well as other human
Kazutoshi Takahashi, Koji Tanabe, Mari Ohnuki, Megumi Narita, Tomoko Ichisaka, Kiichiro Tomoda, and Shinya Yamanaka. Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Adult Human Fibroblasts by Defined Factors. Cell (2007), doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.11.019
Successful reprogramming of differentiated human somatic cells into a pluripotent state would allow creation of patient- and disease-specific stem cells. We previously reported generation
of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, capable of germline transmission, from mouse somatic cells by transduction of four defined transcription factors. Here, we demonstrate the
generation of iPS cells from adult human dermal fibroblasts with the same four factors: Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. Human iPS cells were similar to human embryonic stem (ES) cells in
morphology, proliferation, surface antigens, gene expression, epigenetic status of pluripotent cell-specific genes, and telomerase activity. Furthermore, these cells could differentiate
into cell types of the three germ layers in vitro and in teratomas. These findings demonstrate that iPS cells can be generated from adult human fibroblasts.
Junying Yu, Maxim A. Vodyanik, Kim Smuga-Otto, Jessica Antosiewicz-Bourget, Jennifer L Frane, Shulan Tian, Jeff Nie, Gudrun A. Jonsdottir, Victor Ruotti, Ron Stewart, Igor I. Slukvin, James A. Thomson. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1151526
Somatic cell nuclear transfer allows trans-acting factors present in the mammalian oocyte to reprogram somatic cell nuclei to an undifferentiated state. Here we show that four factors (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, and LIN28) are sufficient to reprogram human somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells that exhibit the essential characteristics of embryonic stem cells. These human induced pluripotent stem cells have normal karyotypes, express telomerase activity, express cell surface markers and genes that characterize human ES cells, and maintain the developmental potential to differentiate into advanced derivatives of all three primary germ layers. Such human induced pluripotent cell lines should be useful in the production of new disease models and in drug development as well as application in transplantation medicine once technical limitations (for example, mutation through viral integration) are eliminated.
Additional reading regarding this very important step for stem cell research....
Bioethics Blog -
Do you feel this changes the bioethics landscape for stem cell technology usage?