Background: Transcription factor-mediated reprogramming can reset the epigenetics of somatic cells into a pluripotency compatible state. Recent studies show that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) always inherit starting cell-specific characteristics, called epigenetic memory, which may be advantageous, as directed differentiation into specific cell types is still challenging; however, it also may be unpredictable when uncontrollable differentiation occurs. In consideration of biosafety in disease modeling and personalized medicine, the availability of high-quality iPSCs which lack a biased differentiation capacity and somatic memory could be indispensable.
Methods: Herein, we evaluate the hematopoietic differentiation capacity and somatic memory state of hematopoietic progenitor and stem cell (HPC/HSC)-derived-iPSCs (HPC/HSC-iPSCs) using a previously established sequential reprogramming system.
Results: We found that HPC/HSCs are amenable to being reprogrammed into iPSCs with unbiased differentiation capacity to hematopoietic progenitors and mature hematopoietic cells. Genome-wide analyses revealed that no global epigenetic memory was detectable in HPC/HSC-iPSCs, but only a minor transcriptional memory of HPC/HSCs existed in a specific tetraploid complementation (4 N)-incompetent HPC/HSC-iPSC line. However, the observed minor transcriptional memory had no influence on the hematopoietic differentiation capacity, indicating the reprogramming of the HPC/HSCs was nearly complete. Further analysis revealed the correlation of minor transcriptional memory with the aberrant distribution of H3K27me3.
Conclusions: This work provides a comprehensive framework for obtaining high-quality iPSCs from HPC/HSCs with unbiased hematopoietic differentiation capacity and minor transcriptional memory.
Keywords: Differentiation; Hematopoietic progenitor and stem cells; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Transcriptional memory.