Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 367-380

First online:

Advances in Reprogramming Somatic Cells to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

  • Minal PatelAffiliated withDepartment of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, The State University of New York at Buffalo
  • , Shuying YangAffiliated withDepartment of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, The State University of New York at Buffalo Email author 

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Traditionally, nuclear reprogramming of cells has been performed by transferring somatic cell nuclei into oocytes, by combining somatic and pluripotent cells together through cell fusion and through genetic integration of factors through somatic cell chromatin. All of these techniques changes gene expression which further leads to a change in cell fate. Here we discuss recent advances in generating induced pluripotent stem cells, different reprogramming methods and clinical applications of iPS cells. Viral vectors have been used to transfer transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, c-myc, Klf4, and nanog) to induce reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts, neural stem cells, neural progenitor cells, keratinocytes, B lymphocytes and meningeal membrane cells towards pluripotency. Human fibroblasts, neural cells, blood and keratinocytes have also been reprogrammed towards pluripotency. In this review we have discussed the use of viral vectors for reprogramming both animal and human stem cells. Currently, many studies are also involved in finding alternatives to using viral vectors carrying transcription factors for reprogramming cells. These include using plasmid transfection, piggyback transposon system and piggyback transposon system combined with a non viral vector system. Applications of these techniques have been discussed in detail including its advantages and disadvantages. Finally, current clinical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells and its limitations have also been reviewed. Thus, this review is a summary of current research advances in reprogramming cells into induced pluripotent stem cells.


Induced pluripotent stem cells Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cell Viral vectors Transcription factor Regenerative medicine Reprogram Somatic cells