Chapter

The Cell Biology of Stem Cells

Volume 695 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 215-224

Reprogramming of Somatic Cells to Pluripotency

  • Masato NakagawaAffiliated withCenter for iPS Research and Application Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University Email author 
  • , Shinya YamanakaAffiliated withCenter for iPS Research and Application Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University

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Abstract

Reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells has been achieved by introducing four transcription factors, Sox2, Oct3/4, Klf4 and c-Myc, in 2006. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have raised hopes for a new era of regenerative medicine because they can avoid the ethical problems and innate immune rejection associated with embryonic stem cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of reprogramming still remains unclear. In this chapter, we look back at the history of reprogramming research ranging from amphibian to mammalian cells and discuss our recent understanding of the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming and the possibility of utilizing reprogrammed cells for regenerative medicine.