Indexed on: 03 Nov '11Published on: 03 Nov '11Published in: PloS one
Direct reprogramming of human somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by defined transcription factors (TFs) provides great potential for regenerative medicine and biomedical research. This procedure has many challenges, including low reprogramming efficiency, many partially reprogrammed colonies, somatic coding mutations in the genome, etc. Here, we describe a simple approach for generating fully reprogrammed human iPS cells by using a single polycistronic retroviral vector expressing four human TFs in a single open reading frame (ORF), combined with a cocktail containing three small molecules (Sodium butyrate, SB431542, and PD0325901). Our results demonstrate that human iPS cells generated by this approach express human ES cells markers and exhibit pluripotency demonstrated by their abilities to differentiate into the three germ layers in vitro and in vivo. Notably, this approach not only provides a much faster reprogramming process but also significantly diminishes partially reprogrammed iPS cell colonies, thus facilitating efficient isolation of desired fully reprogrammed iPS cell colonies.