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Efficient induction of transgene-free human pluripotent stem cells using a vector based on Sendai virus, an RNA virus that does not integrate into the host genome.

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DNAVEC Corporation, Tsukuba city, Ibaraki, Japan.


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have been generated from somatic cells by introducing reprogramming factors. Integration of foreign genes into the host genome is a technical hurdle for the clinical application. Here, we show that Sendai virus (SeV), an RNA virus and carries no risk of altering host genome, is an efficient solution for generating safe iPSC. Sendai-viral human iPSC expressed pluripotency genes, showed demethylation characteristic of reprogrammed cells. SeV-derived transgenes were decreased during cell division. Moreover, viruses were able to be easily removed by antibody-mediated negative selection utilizing cell surface marker HN that is expressed on SeV-infected cells. Viral-free iPSC differentiated to mature cells of the three embryonic germ layers in vivo and in vitro including beating cardiomyocytes, neurons, bone and pancreatic cells. Our data demonstrated that highly-efficient, non-integrating SeV-based vector system provides a critical solution for reprogramming somatic cells and will accelerate the clinical application.

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