Transdifferentiation and reprogramming: Overview of the processes, their similarities and differences

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2017 Jul;1864(7):1359-1369. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2017.04.017. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Abstract

Reprogramming, or generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (functionally similar to embryonic stem cells or ES cells) by the use of transcription factors (typically: Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, Klf4) called "Yamanaka factors" (OSKM), has revolutionized regenerative medicine. However, factors used to induce stemness are also overexpressed in cancer. Both, ES cells and iPS cells cause teratoma formation when injected to tissues. This raises a safety concern for therapies based on iPS derivates. Transdifferentiation (lineage reprogramming, or -conversion), is a process in which one mature, specialized cell type changes into another without entering a pluripotent state. This process involves an ectopic expression of transcription factors and/or other stimuli. Unlike in the case of reprogramming, tissues obtained by this method do not carry the risk of subsequent teratomagenesis.

Keywords: Reprogramming; Teratomagenesis; Transdifferentiation; Yamanaka factors; iPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transdifferentiation*
  • Cellular Reprogramming Techniques / methods*
  • Cellular Reprogramming*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism

Substances

  • Transcription Factors