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Nature. 2009 Oct 1;461(7264):649-3. doi: 10.1038/nature08436.

Direct reprogramming of human neural stem cells by OCT4.

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Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Röntgenstrasse 20, 48149 Münster, NRW, Germany.


Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been generated from mouse and human somatic cells by ectopic expression of four transcription factors (OCT4 (also called POU5F1), SOX2, c-Myc and KLF4). We previously reported that Oct4 alone is sufficient to reprogram directly adult mouse neural stem cells to iPS cells. Here we report the generation of one-factor human iPS cells from human fetal neural stem cells (one-factor (1F) human NiPS cells) by ectopic expression of OCT4 alone. One-factor human NiPS cells resemble human embryonic stem cells in global gene expression profiles, epigenetic status, as well as pluripotency in vitro and in vivo. These findings demonstrate that the transcription factor OCT4 is sufficient to reprogram human neural stem cells to pluripotency. One-factor iPS cell generation will advance the field further towards understanding reprogramming and generating patient-specific pluripotent stem cells.

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