Cutaneous ulcers are a common cause of morbidity. We have developed a de novo epithelialization method for treating cutaneous ulcers by means of reprogramming wound-resident mesenchymal cells in vivo into cells able to form a stratified epithelium: induced stratified epithelial progenitors (iSEPs). Administration of 4 transcription factors (DNP63A, GRHL2, TFAP2A, and cMYC) expressed via adeno-associated viral vectors enabled generation of epithelial cells and tissues, thereby acheiving de novo epithelialization from the surfaces of cutaneous ulcers in a mouse model. Generated epithelia, having barrier functions equivalent to the original epidermis, were maintained for more than 6 months. Our findings constitute a proof of concept for future development towards innovative therapies for cutaneous ulcers via de novo epithelialization.
Keywords: Direct conversion; Direct reprogramming cutaneous ulcer; Epithelialization; Lineage reprogramming; Wound healing.
Copyright © 2019 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.