Pluripotent stem cells from domesticated animals have potential applications in transgenic breeding. Here, we describe induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from bovine fetal fibroblasts by lentiviral transduction of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc defined-factor fusion proteins. Bovine iPS cells showed typical colony morphology, normal karyotypes, stained positively for alkaline phosphatase (AP) and expressed Oct4, Nanog and SSEA1. The CpG in the promoter regions of Oct4 and Nanog were highly unmethylated in bovine iPS cells compared to the fibroblasts. The cells were able to differentiate into cell types of all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo. In addition, these cells were induced into female germ cells under defined culture conditions and expressed early and late female germ cell-specific genes Vasa, Dazl, Gdf9, Nobox, Zp2, and Zp3. Our data suggest that bovine iPS cells were generated from bovine fetal fibroblasts with defined-factor fusion proteins mediated by lentivirus and have potential applications in bovine transgenic breeding and gene-modified animals.
Keywords: bovine; defined-factor fusion proteins; fetal fibroblasts; iPS cells.