Human Cell

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 97–100 | Cite as

DNA methylation dynamics in human induced pluripotent stem cells

  • Koichiro NishinoEmail author
  • Akihiro Umezawa
Review Article


Indeed human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are considered to be powerful tools in regenerative medicine. To enable the use of hiPSCs in the field of regenerative medicine, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of reprogramming during the transformation of somatic cells into hiPSCs. Genome-wide epigenetic modification constitutes a critical event in the generation of iPSCs. In other words, to analyze epigenetic changes in iPSCs means to elucidate reprogramming processes. We have established a large number of hiPSCs derived from various human tissues and have obtained their DNA methylation profiles. Comparison analyses indicated that the epigenetic patterns of various hiPSCs, irrespective of their source tissue, were very similar to one another and were similar to those of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). However, the profiles of hiPSCs and hESCs exhibited epigenetic differences, which were caused by random aberrant hypermethylation at early passages. Interestingly, continuous passaging of the hiPSCs diminished the differences between DNA methylation profiles of hiPSCs and hESCs. The number of aberrant DNA methylation regions may thus represent a useful epigenetic index for evaluating hiPSCs in the context of therapeutic applications.


Human induced pluripotent stem cells DNA methylation Epigenetics Reprogramming 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Human Cell Society and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan
  2. 2.Center for Animal Disease ControlUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Reproductive Biology, Center for Regenerative MedicineNational Research Institute for Child Health and DevelopmentTokyoJapan

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