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Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Epidermal Keratinocytes

Yu-Hua Yang, Ru-Zhi Zhang, Sai Cheng, Bin Xu, Ting Tian, Hai-Xia Shi, Li Xiao, Ren-He Chen
Cellular reprogramming 2018 v.20 no.6 pp. 356-364
DNA methylation, Lentivirus, adipocytes, culture dishes, dyes, ectoderm, embryonic stem cells, epidermis (animal), hepatocytes, humans, induced pluripotent stem cells, keratinocytes, mice, staining, therapeutics, transcription factors, transfection
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) play an important role in cell replacement therapy. Several studies have shown that keratinocytes are promising reprogrammed cells. We easily and efficiently enriched epidermal stem cells by attaching them for a limited time in culture dishes. Individual epidermal cells enriched in stem cells, which showed strong immunostaining for K15, were obtained and generated iPSCs within 10 days after transfection with lentiviruses encoding 4 transcription factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and NANOG). Immunofluorescent staining showed that those iPSCs expressed SOX2, OCT4, NANOG, and SSEA3 (a specific marker of embryonic stem cells). The embryoid bodies generated from those iPSCs stained positively for OCT4 and NANOG and also with the CDy1 dye that is specific for stem cells. When the iPSCs were subcutaneously injected into 4-week-old BALB/c nude mice, teratoma developed at the inoculation site. The iPSCs also demonstrated reduced DNA methylation compared with the original cells and could be induced to differentiate into adipocytes (mesodermal), hepatocytes (endodermal), and neural cells (ectodermal) in vitro. Our research provides an easy and efficient method for producing iPSCs from keratinocytes, which has important applications in cell replacement therapy.