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Chinese biologists find new method to improve cell reprogramming efficiency

by Tech Reporter
27 May 2013 at 05:55hrs | Views
LONDON - Sequential introduction of the proteins known to reprogram cells could improve the efficiency of cell reprogramming, according to a new study reported in Nature Cell Biology on Sunday.

Currently, researchers use simultaneous introduction method in cell reprogramming, which introduces the proteins to reprogram cells back to a pluripotent, embryonic-like state.

Chinese stem-cell biologist Pei Duanqing and colleagues from Chinese Academy of Sciences reported that the sequential introduction of reprogramming proteins outperforms simultaneous introduction.

According to the report, sequential introduction leads to a greater number of cells being reprogrammed than traditional method, and the increase in efficiency was observed both for mouse and human differentiated cells.

The successive expression of reprogramming factors promotes the cells to adopt mesenchymal characteristics before going through an epithelial state and finally reaching pluripotency.

This discovery provided a technique for further optimizing the reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers said.

"Improving the efficiency of reprogramming somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells is highly beneficial to researchers," Professor Pei told Xinhua.

"The researchers could use reprogrammed cells to analyze how defects characteristic of a variety of diseases appear in cells in the laboratory or to test the potential of drugs to cure these defects," said Pei.

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