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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 28;6(2):e17128. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017128.

Epigenetic and phenotypic profile of fibroblasts derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

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  • 1Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells offer a novel source of patient-specific cells for regenerative medicine. However, the biological potential of iPS-derived cells and their similarities to cells differentiated from human embryonic stem (hES) cells remain unclear. We derived fibroblast-like cells from two hiPS cell lines and show that their phenotypic properties and patterns of DNA methylation were similar to that of mature fibroblasts and to fibroblasts derived from hES cells. iPS-derived fibroblasts (iPDK) and their hES-derived counterparts (EDK) showed similar cell morphology throughout differentiation, and patterns of gene expression and cell surface markers were characteristic of mature fibroblasts. Array-based methylation analysis was performed for EDK, iPDK and their parental hES and iPS cell lines, and hierarchical clustering revealed that EDK and iPDK had closely-related methylation profiles. DNA methylation analysis of promoter regions associated with extracellular matrix (ECM)-production (COL1A1) by iPS- and hESC-derived fibroblasts and fibroblast lineage commitment (PDGFRβ), revealed promoter demethylation linked to their expression, and patterns of transcription and methylation of genes related to the functional properties of mature stromal cells were seen in both hiPS- and hES-derived fibroblasts. iPDK cells also showed functional properties analogous to those of hES-derived and mature fibroblasts, as seen by their capacity to direct the morphogenesis of engineered human skin equivalents. Characterization of the functional behavior of ES- and iPS-derived fibroblasts in engineered 3D tissues demonstrates the utility of this tissue platform to predict the capacity of iPS-derived cells before their therapeutic application.

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