Gene screenings have identified a number of reprogramming factors that induce pluripotency from somatic cells. However, the screening methods have mostly considered only factors that maintain pluripotency in embryonic stem cells, ignoring a potentially long list of other contributing factors involved. To expand the search, we developed a new screening method that examined 2,008 human genes in the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), including not only pluripotent genes but also differentiation-related genes that suppress pluripotency. We found the top 100 genes that increased reprogramming efficiency and discovered they contained many differentiation-related genes and homeobox genes. We selected two, HHEX and HLX, for further analysis. These genes enhanced the appearance of premature reprograming cells in the early phase of human iPSC induction, but had inhibitory effect on the late phase. In addition, when expressed in human iPSCs, HHEX and HLX interfered with the pluripotent state, indicating inverse effects on somatic reprograming and pluripotent maintenance. These results demonstrate that our screening is useful for identifying differentiation-related genes in somatic reprograming. Stem Cells 2016;34:2661-2669.
Keywords: HHEX; HLX; Human cDNA library; Induced pluripotent stem cell; Reprogramming; Screening.
© 2016 AlphaMed Press.