Growing knowledge concerning transcriptional control of cellular pluripotency has led to the discovery that the fate of differentiated cells can be reversed, which has resulted in the generation, by means of genetic manipulation, of induced pluripotent stem cells. Overexpression of just four pluripotency-related transcription factors, namely Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (Yamanaka factors, OKSM), in fibroblasts appears sufficient to produce this new cell type. Currently, we know that these factors induce several changes in genetic program of differentiated cells that can be divided in two general phases: the initial one is stochastic, and the subsequent one is highly hierarchical and organised. This review briefly discusses the molecular events leading to induction of pluripotency in response to forced presence of OKSM factors in somatic cells. We also discuss other reprogramming strategies used thus far as well as the advantages and disadvantages of laboratory approaches towards pluripotency induction in different cell types.
Keywords: OKSM; cellular reprogramming; induced pluripotent stem cells.