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BMC Cell Biol. 2012 Mar 26;13:9. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-13-9.

DNp73 improves generation efficiency of human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Stem Cell Research Center, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Cangshan District, Fuzhou, Fujian, PR China.



Recent studies have found that p53 and its' associated cell cycle pathways are major inhibitors of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell generation. In the same family as p53 is p73, which shares sequence similarities with p53. However, p73 also has distinct properties of its own, such as two alternative promoters to express transactivation of p73 (TAp73) and N terminal deleted p73 (DNp73). Functionally, TAp73 acts similarly to p53 in tumor suppression. However, DNp73, on the other hand acts as an oncogene to suppress p53 and p73 induced apoptosis. Therefore, how can p73 have opposing roles in human iPS cell generation?


Transcription factors, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and cMyc (4TF, Yamanaka factors) are used as basal conditions to generate iPS cells. In addition, the factor of DNp73(actually alpha splicing DNp73, DNp73α) is used to generate iPS cells. The experiment found that the addition of DNp73 gene increases human iPS cell generation efficiency by 12.6 folds in comparison to human fibroblast cells transduced with only the basal conditions. Also, iPS cells generated with DNp73 expression are more resistant to in vitro and in vivo differentiation.


This study found DNp73, a family member of p53, is also involved in the human iPS cell generation. Specifically, that the involvement of DNp73 generates iPS cells that are more resistant to in vitro and in vivo differentiation. Therefore, this data may prove to be useful in future developmental studies and cancer researches.

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