Induced pluripotent stem cell technology makes in vitro reprogramming of somatic cells from individuals with various genetic backgrounds possible. By applying this technology, it is possible to produce pluripotent stem cells from biopsy samples of arbitrarily selected individuals with various genetic backgrounds and to subsequently maintain, expand, and stock these cells. From these induced pluripotent stem cells, target cells and tissues can be generated after certain differentiation processes. These target cells/tissues are expected to be useful in regenerative medicine, disease modeling, drug screening, toxicology testing, and proof-of-concept studies in drug development. Therefore, the number of publications concerning induced pluripotent stem cells has recently been increasing rapidly, demonstrating that this technology has begun to infiltrate many aspects of stem cell biology and medical applications. In this review, we discuss the perspectives of induced pluripotent stem cell technology for modeling human diseases. In particular, we focus on the cloning event occurring through the reprogramming process and its ability to let us analyze the development of complex disease-harboring somatic mosaicism.
Keywords: induced pluripotent stem cells; mosaicism.