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Logo of nihpaAbout Author manuscriptsSubmit a manuscriptNIH Public Access; Author Manuscript; Accepted for publication in peer reviewed journal;
Nature. Author manuscript; available in PMC Sep 3, 2011.
Published in final edited form as:
PMCID: PMC3074107
NIHMSID: NIHMS264158

Somatic coding mutations in human induced pluripotent stem cells

Abstract

Defined transcription factors can induce epigenetic reprogramming of adult mammalian cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. Although DNA factors are integrated during some reprogramming methods, it is unknown whether the genome remains unchanged at the single nucleotide level. Here we show that 22 human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cell lines reprogrammed using five different methods each contained an average of five protein-coding point mutations in the regions sampled (an estimated six protein coding point mutations per exome). The majority of these mutations were non-synonymous, nonsense, or splice variants, and were enriched in genes mutated or having causative effects in cancers. At least half of these reprogramming-associated mutations pre-existed in fibroblast progenitors at low frequencies, while the rest were newly occurring during or after reprogramming. Thus, hiPS cells acquire genetic modifications in addition to epigenetic modifications. Extensive genetic screening should become a standard procedure to ensure hiPS safety before clinical use.

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