Carette JE, Pruszak J, Varadarajan M, Blomen VA, Gokhale S, Camargo FD, Wernig M, Jaenisch R, Brummelkamp TR. 2010. Generation of iPSCs from cultured human malignant cells. Blood. 115(20):4039-42. Pubmed: 20233975 DOI:10.1182/blood-2009-07-231845


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be generated from various differentiated cell types by the expression of a set of defined transcription factors. So far, iPSCs have been generated from primary cells, but it is unclear whether human cancer cell lines can be reprogrammed. Here we describe the generation and characterization of iPSCs derived from human chronic myeloid leukemia cells. We show that, despite the presence of oncogenic mutations, these cells acquired pluripotency by the expression of 4 transcription factors and underwent differentiation into cell types derived of all 3 germ layers during teratoma formation. Interestingly, although the parental cell line was strictly dependent on continuous signaling of the BCR-ABL oncogene, also termed oncogene addiction, reprogrammed cells lost this dependency and became resistant to the BCR-ABL inhibitor imatinib. This finding indicates that the therapeutic agent imatinib targets cells in a specific epigenetic differentiated cell state, and this may contribute to its inability to fully eradicate disease in chronic myeloid leukemia patients.

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The Camargo laboratory focuses on the study of adult stem cell biology, organ size regulation, and cancer.

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