Generation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells

Nat Protoc. 2008;3(7):1180-6. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2008.92.


Pluripotent cells, such as embryonic stem cells, are invaluable tools for research and can potentially serve as a source of cell- and tissue-replacement therapy. Rejection after transplantation of cells and tissue derived from embryonic stem cells is a significant obstacle to their clinical use. Recently, human somatic cells have been reprogrammed directly to pluripotency by ectopic expression of four transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc) to yield induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Human iPS cells are a potential source of patient-specific pluripotent stem cells that would bypass immune rejection. iPS cells can also be used to study diseases for which there are no adequate human in vitro or animal models. In this protocol, we describe how to establish primary human fibroblasts lines and how to derive iPS cells by retroviral transduction of reprogramming factors. Overall, it takes 2 months to complete reprogramming human primary fibroblasts starting from biopsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Retroviridae
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Transcription Factors