A programmable synthetic lineage-control network that differentiates human IPSCs into glucose-sensitive insulin-secreting beta-like cells

Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 11;7:11247. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11247.

Abstract

Synthetic biology has advanced the design of standardized transcription control devices that programme cellular behaviour. By coupling synthetic signalling cascade- and transcription factor-based gene switches with reverse and differential sensitivity to the licensed food additive vanillic acid, we designed a synthetic lineage-control network combining vanillic acid-triggered mutually exclusive expression switches for the transcription factors Ngn3 (neurogenin 3; OFF-ON-OFF) and Pdx1 (pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1; ON-OFF-ON) with the concomitant induction of MafA (V-maf musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homologue A; OFF-ON). This designer network consisting of different network topologies orchestrating the timely control of transgenic and genomic Ngn3, Pdx1 and MafA variants is able to programme human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs)-derived pancreatic progenitor cells into glucose-sensitive insulin-secreting beta-like cells, whose glucose-stimulated insulin-release dynamics are comparable to human pancreatic islets. Synthetic lineage-control networks may provide the missing link to genetically programme somatic cells into autologous cell phenotypes for regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Lineage / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Vanillic Acid / pharmacology

Substances

  • Transcription Factors
  • Vanillic Acid
  • Glucose