Genomic instability in pluripotent stem cells: implications for clinical applications

J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 21;289(8):4578-84. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R113.516419. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are known to acquire genomic changes as they proliferate and differentiate. Despite concerns that these changes will compromise the safety of hPSC-derived cell therapy, there is currently scant evidence linking the known hPSC genomic abnormalities with malignancy. For the successful use of hPSCs for clinical applications, we will need to learn to distinguish between innocuous genomic aberrations and those that may cause tumors. To minimize any effects of acquired mutations on cell therapy, we strongly recommend that cells destined for transplant be monitored throughout their preparation using a high-resolution method such as SNP genotyping.

Keywords: Cell Differentiation; Cell Therapy; Embryonic Stem Cell; Genomics; Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomic Instability / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*