Site-specific recombinase strategy to create induced pluripotent stem cells efficiently with plasmid DNA.
ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have revolutionized the stem cell field. iPSCs are most often produced by using retroviruses. However, the resulting cells may be ill-suited for clinical applications. Many alternative strategies to make iPSCs have been developed, but the nonintegrating strategies tend to be inefficient, while the integrating strategies involve random integration. Here, we report a facile strategy to create murine iPSCs that uses plasmid DNA and single transfection with sequence-specific recombinases. PhiC31 integrase was used to insert the reprogramming cassette into the genome, producing iPSCs. Cre recombinase was then used for excision of the reprogramming genes. The iPSCs were demonstrated to be pluripotent by in vitro and in vivo criteria, both before and after excision of the reprogramming cassette. This strategy is comparable with retroviral approaches in efficiency, but is nonhazardous for the user, simple to perform, and results in nonrandom integration of a reprogramming cassette that can be readily deleted. We demonstrated the efficiency of this reprogramming and excision strategy in two accessible cell types, fibroblasts and adipose stem cells. This simple strategy produces pluripotent stem cells that have the potential to be used in a clinical setting.
Project description:Clinical application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is limited by the low efficiency of iPSC derivation and the fact that most protocols modify the genome to effect cellular reprogramming. Moreover, safe and effective means of directing the fate of patient-specific iPSCs toward clinically useful cell types are lacking. Here we describe a simple, nonintegrating strategy for reprogramming cell fate based on administration of synthetic mRNA modified to overcome innate antiviral responses. We show that this approach can reprogram multiple human cell types to pluripotency with efficiencies that greatly surpass established protocols. We further show that the same technology can be used to efficiently direct the differentiation of RNA-induced pluripotent stem cells (RiPSCs) into terminally differentiated myogenic cells. This technology represents a safe, efficient strategy for somatic cell reprogramming and directing cell fate that has broad applicability for basic research, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine.
Project description:Integrative gene transfer using retroviruses to express reprogramming factors displays high efficiency in generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), but the value of the method is limited because of the concern over mutagenesis associated with random insertion of transgenes. Site-specific integration into a preselected locus by engineered zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) technology provides a potential way to overcome the problem. Here, we report the successful reprogramming of human fibroblasts into a state of pluripotency by baculoviral transduction-mediated, site-specific integration of OKSM (Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, and c-myc) transcription factor genes into the AAVS1 locus in human chromosome 19. Two nonintegrative baculoviral vectors were used for cotransduction, one expressing ZFNs and another as a donor vector encoding the four transcription factors. iPSC colonies were obtained at a high efficiency of 12% (the mean value of eight individual experiments). All characterized iPSC clones carried the transgenic cassette only at the ZFN-specified AAVS1 locus. We further demonstrated that when the donor cassette was flanked by heterospecific loxP sequences, the reprogramming genes in iPSCs could be replaced by another transgene using a baculoviral vector-based Cre recombinase-mediated cassette exchange system, thereby producing iPSCs free of exogenous reprogramming factors. Although the use of nonintegrating methods to generate iPSCs is rapidly becoming a standard approach, methods based on site-specific integration of reprogramming factor genes as reported here hold the potential for efficient generation of genetically amenable iPSCs suitable for future gene therapy applications.
Project description:Methods for generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for disease modeling and cell therapies have progressed from integrating vectors to transient delivery of reprogramming factors, avoiding permanent genomic modification. A major limitation of unmodified iPSCs is the assessment of their distribution and contribution to adverse reactions in autologous cell therapy. Here, we report that polycistronic lentiviral vectors with single Flp recombinase (Flp) recognition target (FRT) sites can be used to generate murine iPSCs that are devoid of the reprogramming cassette but carry an intergenic 300-bp long terminal repeat sequence. Performing quantitative polymerase chain reaction on this marker, we could determine genetic identity and tissue contribution of iPSC-derived teratomas in mice. Moreover, we generated iPSCs carrying heterospecific FRT twin sites, enabling excision and recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) of the reprogramming cassette for another expression unit of choice. Following screening of iPSCs for "safe harbor" integration sites, expression cassettes were introduced by RMCE into various previously silenced loci of selected single-copy iPSCs. Analysis of DNA methylation showed that RMCE reverted the local epigenetic signature, which allowed transgene expression in undifferentiated iPSCs and in differentiated progeny. These findings support the concept of creating clonotypically defined exchangeable and traceable pluripotent stem cells for disease research and cell therapy.
Project description:The reprogramming of a patient's somatic cells back into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) holds significant promise for future autologous cellular therapeutics. The continued presence of potentially oncogenic transgenic elements following reprogramming, however, represents a safety concern that should be addressed prior to clinical applications. The polycistronic stem cell cassette (STEMCCA), an excisable lentiviral reprogramming vector, provides, in our hands, the most consistent reprogramming approach that addresses this safety concern. Nevertheless, most viral integrations occur in genes, and exactly how the integration, epigenetic reprogramming, and excision of the STEMCCA reprogramming vector influences those genes and whether these cells still have clinical potential are not yet known.In this study, we used both microarray and sensitive real-time PCR to investigate gene expression changes following both intron-based reprogramming and excision of the STEMCCA cassette during the generation of human iPSCs from adult human dermal fibroblasts. Integration site analysis was conducted using nonrestrictive linear amplification PCR. Transgene-free iPSCs were fully characterized via immunocytochemistry, karyotyping and teratoma formation, and current protocols were implemented for guided differentiation. We also utilized current good manufacturing practice guidelines and manufacturing facilities for conversion of our iPSCs into putative clinical grade conditions.We found that a STEMCCA-derived iPSC line that contains a single integration, found to be located in an intronic location in an actively transcribed gene, PRPF39, displays significantly increased expression when compared with post-excised stem cells. STEMCCA excision via Cre recombinase returned basal expression levels of PRPF39. These cells were also shown to have proper splicing patterns and PRPF39 gene sequences. We also fully characterized the post-excision iPSCs, differentiated them into multiple clinically relevant cell types (including oligodendrocytes, hepatocytes, and cardiomyocytes), and converted them to putative clinical-grade conditions using the same approach previously approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the conversion of human embryonic stem cells from research-grade to clinical-grade status.For the first time, these studies provide a proof-of-principle for the generation of fully characterized transgene-free human iPSCs and, in light of the limited availability of current good manufacturing practice cellular manufacturing facilities, highlight an attractive potential mechanism for converting research-grade cell lines into putatively clinical-grade biologics for personalized cellular therapeutics.
Project description:The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) holds great promise for regenerative medicine since it is possible to produce patient-specific pluripotent stem cells from affected individuals for potential autologous treatment. Using nonintegrating cytoplasmic Sendai viral vectors, we generated iPSCs efficiently from adult mobilized CD34? and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. After 5-8 passages, the Sendai viral genome could not be detected by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Using the spin embryoid body method, we showed that these blood cell-derived iPSCs could efficiently be differentiated into hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells without the need of coculture with either mouse or human stromal cells. We obtained up to 40% CD34? of which ~25% were CD34?/CD43? hematopoietic precursors that could readily be differentiated into mature blood cells. Our study demonstrated a reproducible protocol for reprogramming blood cells into transgene-free iPSCs by the Sendai viral vector method. Maintenance of the genomic integrity of iPSCs without integration of exogenous DNA should allow the development of therapeutic-grade stem cells for regenerative medicine.
Project description:Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are potential cell sources for regenerative medicine; however, clinical applications of iPSCs are restricted because of undesired genomic modifications associated with most reprogramming protocols. We show, for the first time, that chondrocytes from autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) donors can be efficiently reprogrammed into iPSCs using a nonintegrating method based on mRNA delivery, resulting in footprint-free iPSCs (no genome-sequence modifications), devoid of viral factors or remaining reprogramming molecules. The search for universal allogeneic cell sources for the ACI regenerative treatment has been difficult because making chondrocytes with high matrix-forming capacity from pluripotent human embryonic stem cells has proven challenging and human mesenchymal stem cells have a predisposition to form hypertrophic cartilage and bone. We show that chondrocyte-derived iPSCs can be redifferentiated in vitro into cartilage matrix-producing cells better than fibroblast-derived iPSCs and on par with the donor chondrocytes, suggesting the existence of a differentiation bias toward the somatic cell origin and making chondrocyte-derived iPSCs a promising candidate universal cell source for ACI. Whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism array and karyotyping were used to verify the genomic integrity and stability of the established iPSC lines. Our results suggest that RNA-based technology eliminates the risk of genomic integrations or aberrations, an important step toward a clinical-grade cell source for regenerative medicine such as treatment of cartilage defects and osteoarthritis.
Project description:To date no authentic embryonic stem cell (ESC) line or germline-competent-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line has been established for large animals. Despite this fact, there is an impression in the field that large animal ESCs or iPSCs are as good as mouse counterparts. Clarification of this issue is important for a healthy advancement of the stem cell field. Elucidation of the causes of this failure in obtaining high quality iPSCs/ESCs may offer essential clues for eventual establishment of authentic ESCs for large animals including humans. To this end, we first generated porcine iPSCs using nonintegrating replicating episomal plasmids. Although these porcine iPSCs met most pluripotency criteria, they could neither generate cloned piglets through nuclear transfer, nor contribute to later stage chimeras through morula injections or aggregations. We found that the reprogramming genes in iPSCs could not be removed even under negative selection, indicating they are required to maintain self-renewal. The persistent expression of these genes in porcine iPSCs in turn caused differentiation defects in vivo. Therefore, incomplete reprogramming manifested by a reliance on sustained expression of exogenous-reprogramming factors appears to be the main reason for the inability of porcine iPSCs to form iPSC-derived piglets.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a potent cell source for neurogenesis. Previously we have generated iPSCs from human dental stem cells carrying transgene vectors. These exogenous transgenes may affect iPSC behaviors and limit their clinical applications. The purpose of this study was to establish transgene-free iPSCs (TF-iPSCs) reprogrammed from human stem cells of apical papilla (SCAP) and determine their neurogenic potential.A single lentiviral 'stem cell cassette' flanked by the loxP site (hSTEMCCA-loxP), encoding four human reprogramming factors, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC, was used to reprogram human SCAP into iPSCs. Generated iPSCs were transfected with plasmid pHAGE2-EF1?-Cre-IRES-PuroR and selected with puromycin for the TF-iPSC subclones. PCR was performed to confirm the excision of hSTEMCCA. TF-iPSC clones did not resist to puromycin treatment indicating no pHAGE2-EF1?-Cre-IRES-PuroR integration into the genome. In vitro and in vivo analyses of their pluripotency were performed. Embryoid body-mediated neural differentiation was undertaken to verify their neurogenic potential.TF-SCAP iPSCs were generated via a hSTEMCCA-loxP/Cre system. PCR of genomic DNA confirmed transgene excision and puromycin treatment verified the lack of pHAGE2-EF1?-Cre-IRES-PuroR integration. Transplantation of the TF-iPSCs into immunodeficient mice gave rise to teratomas containing tissues representing the three germ layers -- ectoderm (neural rosettes), mesoderm (cartilage and bone tissues) and endoderm (glandular epithelial tissues). Embryonic stem cell-associated markers TRA-1-60, TRA-2-49 and OCT4 remained positive after transgene excision. After neurogenic differentiation, cells showed neural-like morphology expressing neural markers nestin, ?III-tubulin, NFM, NSE, NeuN, GRM1, NR1 and CNPase.TF-SCAP iPSCs reprogrammed from SCAP can be generated and they may be a good cell source for neurogenesis.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a unique opportunity for generation of patient-specific cells for use in translational purposes. We aimed to compare iPSCs generated by different reprogramming methods regarding their reprogramming efficiency, pluripotency capacity, and the possibility to use high-throughput PCR-based methods for detection of human pathogenic viruses. iPSCs from skin fibroblasts (FB), peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were generated by using three different reprogramming systems including chromosomal integrating and nonintegrating methods. Reprogramming efficiencies were in accordance with the literature, indicating that the parental cell type and the reprogramming method play a major role for the reprogramming efficiencies (FB: STEMCCA: 1.30 ± 0.18, Sendai virus: 1.37 ± 0.01, and episomal plasmids: 0.04 ± 0.02; PBMCs: Sendai virus: 0.002 ± 0.001, episomal plasmids: 0) but result in the same characteristics of pluripotency. We found the highest reprogramming efficiencies for MSC with 3.32 ± 1.2 by using episomal plasmids. Since GMP standard working procedures and screening units need virus contamination-free cell lines, we studied HIV-1 contamination in the generated iPSCs. We used the high-throughput cobas® 6800/8800 system, which is normally used for detection of HIV-1 in plasma of patients, and found that footprint-free reprogramming methods as episomal plasmids and Sendai virus are useful for the described virus detection method. This fast, cost-effective, robust, and reliable assay demonstrates the feasibility to use high-throughput PCR-based methods for detection of human pathogenic viruses in ps-iPSC lines that were generated with nongenome integrating reprogramming methods.
Project description:Induction of a pluripotent state in somatic cells through nuclear reprogramming has ushered in a new era of regenerative medicine. Heterogeneity and varied differentiation potentials among induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines are, however, complicating factors that limit their usefulness for disease modeling, drug discovery, and patient therapies. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop nonmutagenic rapid throughput methods capable of distinguishing among putative iPSC lines of variable quality. To address this issue, we have applied a highly specific chemoproteomic targeting strategy for de novo discovery of cell surface N-glycoproteins to increase the knowledge-base of surface exposed proteins and accessible epitopes of pluripotent stem cells. We report the identification of 500 cell surface proteins on four embryonic stem cell and iPSCs lines and demonstrate the biological significance of this resource on mouse fibroblasts containing an oct4-GFP expression cassette that is active in reprogrammed cells. These results together with immunophenotyping, cell sorting, and functional analyses demonstrate that these newly identified surface marker panels are useful for isolating iPSCs from heterogeneous reprogrammed cultures and for isolating functionally distinct stem cell subpopulations.