Posted by: Dan | June 13, 2007

Stem Cell Reprogramming Questions

I finally got to reading the papers on the recent stem cell advances, and they do a nice job of studying the epigenetic, morphological, and proliferative characteristics of the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. They four factors that were pinpointed for this reprogramming technique include the proteins Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, with Nanog getting a bit of attention as well. Now, every cell biologist should have heard of c-Myc, but many of us cell biologists are busy focusing on other aspects of the cell, and less familiar with the rest.

Looking through the references in the papers, and doing pubmed searches, these four papers are the only that I’m familiar with that directly discuss these four proteins in the context of pluripotency. Instead, the first paper (Takahashi and Yamanaka, 2006) references no less than 18 papers in pooling the understanding of these inducing factors.

What would be really nice, is to have a blogger who’s familiar with Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, Klf4, and Nanog, do a thorough review of how they’re thought to contribute to pluripotency…

Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

  • Takahashi K, Yamanaka S. Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors. Cell. 2006 Aug 25;126(4):663-76.
  • Maherali N, Sridharan R, Xie W, Utikal J, Eminli S, Arnold K, Stadfeld M, Yachechko R, Tchieu J, Jaenisch R, Plath K, Hochedlinger K. Directly reprogrammed fibroblasts show global epigenetic remodeling and widespread tissue contribution. Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Jun 7; 1: 55-70.
  • Wernig M, Meissner A, Foreman R, Brambrink T, Ku M, Hochedlinger K, Bernstein BE, Jaenisch R. In vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into a pluripotent ES-cell-like state. Nature. 2007 Jun 6;
  • Okita K, Ichisaka T, Yamanaka S. Generation of germline-competent induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 2007 Jun 6;


  1. Shinya Yamanaka has written such a review for the first issue of Cell Stem Cell. It may answer some of your questions (and is available as open access):

    (disclaimer: I am employed by this journal, and so can be considered ‘biased’)

  2. Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for, and had apparently missed it. I think I’d missed it because Cell Stem Cell papers don’t appear to be showing up on Pubmed yet, which I rely on (perhaps overly much). Hopefully that gets fixed soon.


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