Conversion of human fibroblast to endothelial cell by defined factors
ABSTRACT: Transient pluripotency-factor-based signaling-directed (TPS) transdifferentiation approach could be further applied to generate functional induced endothelial (iEnd) cells from human fibroblasts with only two factors: Oct4 and Klf4 (OK). The iEnd cells exhibit characteristic endothelial cell phenotype in vitro and in vivo and are capable of functionally promoting vascular regeneration and blood perfusion in a murine model of PAD. Human fibroblasts were transfected with Oct4 and Klf4 then changed to endothelial cell culture media with growth factors. iENDs were purified by FACS and enriched in EGM2 media.
Project description:Transdifferentiation of fibroblasts to endothelial cells (ECs) may provide a novel therapeutic avenue for diseases, including ischemia and fibrosis. Here, we demonstrate that human fibroblasts can be transdifferentiated into functional ECs by using only 2 factors, Oct4 and Klf4, under inductive signaling conditions.To determine whether human fibroblasts could be converted into ECs by transient expression of pluripotency factors, human neonatal fibroblasts were transduced with lentiviruses encoding Oct4 and Klf4 in the presence of soluble factors that promote the induction of an endothelial program. After 28 days, clusters of induced endothelial (iEnd) cells seemed and were isolated for further propagation and subsequent characterization. The iEnd cells resembled primary human ECs in their transcriptional signature by expressing endothelial phenotypic markers, such as CD31, vascular endothelial-cadherin, and von Willebrand Factor. Furthermore, the iEnd cells could incorporate acetylated low-density lipoprotein and form vascular structures in vitro and in vivo. When injected into the ischemic limb of mice, the iEnd cells engrafted, increased capillary density, and enhanced tissue perfusion. During the transdifferentiation process, the endogenous pluripotency network was not activated, suggesting that this process bypassed a pluripotent intermediate step.Pluripotent factor-induced transdifferentiation can be successfully applied for generating functional autologous ECs for therapeutic applications.
Project description:Somatic cells can be transdifferentiated to other cell types without passing through a pluripotent state by ectopic expression of appropriate transcription factors. Recent reports have proposed an alternative transdifferentiation method in which fibroblasts are directly converted to various mature somatic cell types by brief expression of the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc (OSKM) followed by cell expansion in media that promote lineage differentiation. Here we test this method using genetic lineage tracing for expression of endogenous Nanog and Oct4 and for X chromosome reactivation, as these events mark acquisition of pluripotency. We show that the vast majority of reprogrammed cardiomyocytes or neural stem cells obtained from mouse fibroblasts by OSKM-induced 'transdifferentiation' pass through a transient pluripotent state, and that their derivation is molecularly coupled to iPSC formation mechanisms. Our findings underscore the importance of defining trajectories during cell reprogramming by various methods.
Project description:Brief expression of pluripotency-associated factors such as Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 and c-Myc (OKSM), in combination with differentiation-inducing signals, has been reported to trigger transdifferentiation of fibroblasts into other cell types. Here we show that OKSM expression in mouse fibroblasts gives rise to both induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) under conditions previously shown to induce only iNSCs. Fibroblast-derived iNSC colonies silenced retroviral transgenes and reactivated silenced X chromosomes, both hallmarks of pluripotent stem cells. Moreover, lineage tracing with an Oct4-CreER labeling system demonstrated that virtually all iNSC colonies originated from cells transiently expressing Oct4, whereas ablation of Oct4(+) cells prevented iNSC formation. Lastly, an alternative transdifferentiation cocktail that lacks Oct4 and was reportedly unable to support induced pluripotency yielded iPSCs and iNSCs carrying the Oct4-CreER-derived lineage label. Together, these data suggest that iNSC generation from fibroblasts using OKSM and other pluripotency-related reprogramming factors requires passage through a transient iPSC state.
Project description:Somatic cells can be converted into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by forced expression of various combinations of transcription factors, but the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming are poorly understood. Specifically, evidence that the reprogramming process can take many distinct routes only begins to emerge. It is definitively established that p53 deficiency greatly enhances reprogramming, revealing p53's barrier function for induced pluripotency, but the role of its homologs p63 and p73 are unknown. Here we report that in stark contrast to p53, p73 has no role in reprogramming. However, p63 is an enabling (rather than a barrier) factor for Oct4, Sox2 and Klf4 (OSK) and Oct4 and Sox2 (OS), but not for Oct4 and Klf4 (OK) reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Specifically, p63 is essential during reprogramming for maximum efficiency, albeit not for the ability to reprogram per se, and is dispensable for maintaining stability and pluripotency of established iPSC colonies. ?Np63, but not TAp63, is the principal isoform involved. Loss of p63 can affect reprogramming via several mechanisms such as reduced expression of mesenchymal-epithelial transition and pluripotency genes, hypoproliferation and loss of the most reprogrammable cell populations. During OSK and OS reprogramming, different mechanisms seem to be critical, such as regulation of epithelial and pluripotency genes in OSK reprogramming versus regulation of proliferation in OS reprogramming. Finally, our data reveal three different routes of reprogramming by OSK, OS or OK, based on their differential p63 requirements for iPSC efficiency and pluripotency marker expression. This supports the concept that many distinct routes of reprogramming exist.
Project description:Transdifferentiation is the direct conversion from one somatic cell type into another desired somatic cell type. This reprogramming method offers an attractive approach for regenerative medicine. Here, we demonstrate that neonatal fibroblasts can be transdifferentiated into endothelial cells using only four endothelial transcription factors, namely, ETV2, FLI1, GATA2, and KLF4. We observed a significant up-regulation of endothelial genes including KDR, CD31, CD144, and vWF in human neonatal foreskin (BJ) fibroblasts infected with the lentiviral construct encoding the open reading frame of the four transcription factors. We observed morphological changes in BJ fibroblasts from the fibroblastic spindle shape into a more endothelial-like cobblestone structures. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis revealed that ~16% of the infected cells with the lentiviral constructs encoding 4F expressed CD31. The sorted cells were allowed to expand for 2?weeks and these cells were immunostained and found to express endothelial markers CD31. The induced endothelial cells also incorporated fluorescence-labeled acetylated low-density lipoprotein and efficiently formed capillary-like networks when seeded on Matrigel. These results suggested that the induced endothelial cells were functional in vitro. Taken together, we successfully demonstrated the direct conversion of human neonatal fibroblasts into endothelial cells by transduction of lentiviral constructs encoding endothelial lineage-specific transcription factors ETV2, FLI1, GATA2, and KLF4. The directed differentiation of fibroblasts into endothelial cells may have significant utility in diseases characterized by fibrosis and loss of microvasculature.
Project description:Cell lineage conversion of fibroblasts to specialized cell types through transdifferentiation may provide a fast and alternative cell source for regenerative medicine. Here we show that transient transduction of fibroblasts with the four reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) in addition to the early lung transcription factor Nkx2-1 (also known as Ttf1), followed by directed differentiation of the cells, can convert mouse embryonic and human adult dermal fibroblasts into induced lung-like epithelial cells (iLEC). These iLEC differentiate into multiple lung cell types in air liquid interface cultures, repopulate decellularized rat lung scaffolds, and form lung epithelia composed of Ciliated, Goblet, Basal, and Club cells after transplantation into immune-compromised mice. As proof-of-concept, differentiated human iLEC harboring the Cystic Fibrosis mutation dF508 demonstrated pharmacological rescue of CFTR function using the combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor. Overall, this is a promising alternative approach for generation of patient-specific lung-like progenitors to study lung function, disease and future regeneration strategies.
Project description:The generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is an important tool for regenerative medicine. However, the main restriction is the risk of tumor development. In this study we found that during the early stages of somatic cell reprogramming toward a pluripotent state, specific gene expression patterns are altered. Therefore, we developed a method to generate partial-iPS (PiPS) cells by transferring four reprogramming factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC) to human fibroblasts for 4 d. PiPS cells did not form tumors in vivo and clearly displayed the potential to differentiate into endothelial cells (ECs) in response to defined media and culture conditions. To clarify the mechanism of PiPS cell differentiation into ECs, SET translocation (myeloid leukemia-associated) (SET) similar protein (SETSIP) was indentified to be induced during somatic cell reprogramming. Importantly, when PiPS cells were treated with VEGF, SETSIP was translocated to the cell nucleus, directly bound to the VE-cadherin promoter, increasing vascular endothelial-cadherin (VE-cadherin) expression levels and EC differentiation. Functionally, PiPS-ECs improved neovascularization and blood flow recovery in a hindlimb ischemic model. Furthermore, PiPS-ECs displayed good attachment, stabilization, patency, and typical vascular structure when seeded on decellularized vessel scaffolds. These findings indicate that reprogramming of fibroblasts into ECs via SETSIP and VEGF has a potential clinical application.
Project description:The simple yet powerful technique of induced pluripotency may eventually supply a wide range of differentiated cells for cell therapy and drug development. However, making the appropriate cells via induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) requires reprogramming of somatic cells and subsequent redifferentiation. Given how arduous and lengthy this process can be, we sought to determine whether it might be possible to convert somatic cells into lineage-specific stem/progenitor cells of another germ layer in one step, bypassing the intermediate pluripotent stage. Here we show that transient induction of the four reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) can efficiently transdifferentiate fibroblasts into functional neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) with appropriate signaling inputs. Compared with induced neurons (or iN cells, which are directly converted from fibroblasts), transdifferentiated NPCs have the distinct advantage of being expandable in vitro and retaining the ability to give rise to multiple neuronal subtypes and glial cells. Our results provide a unique paradigm for iPSC-factor-based reprogramming by demonstrating that it can be readily modified to serve as a general platform for transdifferentiation.
Project description:The introduction of four transcription factors Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 and c-Myc by viral transduction can induce reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), but the use of iPSCs is hindered by the use of viral delivery systems. Chemical-induced reprogramming offers a novel approach to generating iPSCs without any viral vector-based genetic modification. Previous reports showed that several small molecules could replace some of the reprogramming factors although at least two transcription factors, Oct4 and Klf4, are still required to generate iPSCs from mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Here, we identify a specific chemical combination, which is sufficient to permit reprogramming from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblasts in the presence of a single transcription factor, Oct4, within 20 days, replacing Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. The iPSCs generated using this treatment resembled mouse embryonic stem cells in terms of global gene expression profile, epigenetic status and pluripotency both in vitro and in vivo. We also found that 8 days of Oct4 induction was sufficient to enable Oct4-induced reprogramming in the presence of the small molecules, which suggests that reprogramming was initiated within the first 8 days and was independent of continuous exogenous Oct4 expression. These discoveries will aid in the future generation of iPSCs without genetic modification, as well as elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the reprogramming process.
Project description:We have recently shown that a combination of microRNAs, miR combo, can directly reprogram cardiac fibroblasts into functional cardiomyocytes in vitro and in vivo. However, direct reprogramming strategies are inefficient and slow. Moving towards the eventual goal of clinical application it is necessary to develop new methodologies to overcome these limitations. Here, we report the identification of a specific media composition, reprogramming media (RM), which augmented the effect of miR combo by 5-15-fold depending upon the cardiac marker tested. RM alone was sufficient to strongly induce cardiac gene and protein expression in neonatal tail-tip as well as cardiac fibroblasts. Expression of pluripotency markers Nanog, Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was significantly enhanced by RM, with miR combo augmenting the effect further. Knockdown of Nanog by siRNA inhibited the effect of RM on cardiac gene expression. Removal of insulin-transferrin-selenium completely inhibited the effect of reprogramming media upon cardiac gene expression and the addition of selenium to standard culture media recapitulated the effects of RM. Moreover, selenium enhanced the reprogramming efficiency of miR combo.