Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 2117–2124 | Cite as

Reprogramming human fibroblasts using HIV-1 TAT recombinant proteins OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC

  • Chuanying Pan
  • Baisong Lu
  • Hong Chen
  • Colin E. Bishop


It has been shown that human and murine fibroblasts can be reprogrammed by ectopic expression of transcription factors using viral vectors. For the purpose of human therapeutic applications, the integration of viral transgenes into the genome is unlikely to be accepted. We therefore produced recombinant transcription factor proteins in E. coli (OCT4, SOX2, c-MYC and KLF4) carrying the cell penetrating TAT domain from HIV1. The purified proteins were able to enter into mammalian cells when added to tissue culture medium but appeared not to translocate to the nucleus. Further investigation indicated that most of the protein was tied up in the endosomes and was unavailable for reprogramming. Once this problem has been solved it seems likely that protein reprogramming will be the method of choice for clinical applications.


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) TAT peptide Reprogramming Transcription factors Gene expression 



We are grateful to Lisa Dailey for providing the 6X0/S-luc luciferase reporter plasmid. We thank Zhan Wang (Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine) for his help in experiments. C. Pan was supported by CHINA SCHOLARSHIP COUNCIL. This work was supported by a grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R21 RR025408).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Technology, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for AgricultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute for Regenerative MedicineWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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