Background and objectives: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are usually generated by reprogramming differentiated cells throughthe introduction of specific transcription factors, but this is a difficult and inefficient process. Valproic acid (VPA) is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that significantly improves the efficiency of iPSC generation. But its role and mechanism are still unclear.
Methods and results: We transduced Bactrian camel fetal fibroblasts (BCFFs) with retroviruses carrying defined factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, c-MYC and EGFP; OSKMG) in the presence of VPA. Cells were collected (Day 7) and analyzed using RNA-seq technology. Afterwards, different groups of cells and transcriptomics results were detected by PCR and qRT-PCR technology. The results showed that VPA promoted the expression of the endogenous gene c-Myc and inhibited cell proliferation; at the same time, it promoted the expression of VEGF and other genes related to angiogenesis.
Conclusions: When VPA is added to the culture medium, only the cells that have begun to reprogram can break the G2/M repression through the expression of the endogenous gene c-Myc, and use the nutrients and space in the culture dish to proliferate normally, which can achieve the purpose of directly improving the efficiency of reprogramming. Another new discovery for Bactrian camels, VPA significantly increased the expression of VEGFC and other genes, promoting the transformation of fibroblasts to endothelial cells (different from the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition process of other species) to accelerate the early induction of Bactrian camels iPSc process. Overall, this study proved the new mechanism of VPA in enhancing the induction of pluripotency from the transcriptome level.
Keywords: Bactrian camel; Induced pluripotent stem cells; RNA-seq; Valproic acid.