Human Stem Cells Free Of Foreign DNA
U.S. researchers have developed a method to produce human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which contain no foreign, potentially harmful DNA. The report of this work are published in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Stem cells are induced pluripotent human adult cells that were "reprogrammed" into embryonic stem cells.

This result is important for the use of these cells in basic research in biology and is a key step in view of producing induced pluripotent stem cells used in medical therapy without the risk that elements inserted into their genome interfere with the development normal cell. When researchers in the early days reprogrammed adult and fetal cells so they become induced pluripotent stem cells, they used viruses to insert the processed key genes in the nucleus can trigger the reprogramming process.

Jungying Yu and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) now describe an alternative to this approach. They added genes to circular DNA fragments called plasmids generally independent of cellular chromosomes. Then they introduced the plasmids into human foreskin cells by a process called nucleofection. The proteins expressed by genes carried by plasmids were then able to reprogram cells into iPS cells. Finally, the iPS cells began to lose their plasmid during cell division and researchers were then able to isolate which carried no more.

In their article, the authors state that other teams have recently reported methods with the same objective, but that their process is currently the only producing iPS completely devoid of human vectors and transgenic sequences.
Article: Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Free of Vector and Transgene Sequences
Authors: Junying Yu, Kejin Hu, Kim Smuga-Otto, Shulan Tian, Ron Stewart, Igor I. Slukvin, James A. Thomson
Journal Publication: Science
Source: EurekAlert
Credit: UW-Madison


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