Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 190–209 | Cite as

The Cellular Memory Disc of Reprogrammed Cells

  • Seyed Hadi AnjamroozEmail author


The crucial facts underlying the low efficiency of cellular reprogramming are poorly understood. Cellular reprogramming occurs in nuclear transfer, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) formation, cell fusion, and lineage-switching experiments. Despite these advances, there are three fundamental problems to be addressed: (1) the majority of cells cannot be reprogrammed, (2) the efficiency of reprogramming cells is usually low, and (3) the reprogrammed cells developed from a patient’s own cells activate immune responses. These shortcomings present major obstacles for using reprogramming approaches in customised cell therapy. In this Perspective, the author synthesises past and present observations in the field of cellular reprogramming to propose a theoretical picture of the cellular memory disc. The current hypothesis is that all cells undergo an endogenous and exogenous holographic memorisation such that parts of the cellular memory dramatically decrease the efficiency of reprogramming cells, act like a barrier against reprogramming in the majority of cells, and activate immune responses. Accordingly, the focus of this review is mainly to describe the cellular memory disc (CMD). Based on the present theory, cellular memory includes three parts: a reprogramming-resistance memory (RRM), a switch-promoting memory (SPM) and a culture-induced memory (CIM), which arises genetically, epigenetically and non-genetically, respectively, and affect cellular behaviours.


Cellular memory Cellular reprogramming Stem cell Induced pluripotent stem cell 



The author is grateful to Prof. Mansoureh Movahedin of Tarbiat Modarres University for her kind encouragement of this work and her useful comments on the manuscript.

Conflict of interest statement

The author indicates no potential conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Research Center, School of MedicineKurdistan University of Medical SciencesSanandajIran

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