Citation

Gore A, Li Z, Fung HL, Young JE, Agarwal S, Antosiewicz-Bourget J, Canto I, Giorgetti A, Israel MA, Kiskinis E, Lee JH, Loh YH, Manos PD, Montserrat N, Panopoulos AD, Ruiz S, Wilbert ML, Yu J, Kirkness EF, Izpisua Belmonte JC, Rossi DJ, Thomson JA, Eggan K, Daley GQ, Goldstein LS, Zhang K. 2011. Somatic coding mutations in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 471(7336):63-7. Pubmed: 21368825 DOI:10.1038/nature09805

Abstract

Defined transcription factors can induce epigenetic reprogramming of adult mammalian cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. Although DNA factors are integrated during some reprogramming methods, it is unknown whether the genome remains unchanged at the single nucleotide level. Here we show that 22 human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cell lines reprogrammed using five different methods each contained an average of five protein-coding point mutations in the regions sampled (an estimated six protein-coding point mutations per exome). The majority of these mutations were non-synonymous, nonsense or splice variants, and were enriched in genes mutated or having causative effects in cancers. At least half of these reprogramming-associated mutations pre-existed in fibroblast progenitors at low frequencies, whereas the rest occurred during or after reprogramming. Thus, hiPS cells acquire genetic modifications in addition to epigenetic modifications. Extensive genetic screening should become a standard procedure to ensure hiPS cell safety before clinical use.

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Kevin Eggan investigates the mechanisms that cause motor neuron degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and seeks to translate new discoveries into new therapeutic options for patients.

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