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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39022. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039022. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

Establishment of LIF-dependent human iPS cells closely related to basic FGF-dependent authentic iPS cells.

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Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.


Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be divided into a leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)-dependent naïve type and a basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-dependent primed type. Although the former are more undifferentiated than the latter, they require signal transduction inhibitors and sustained expression of the transgenes used for iPSC production. We used a transcriptionally enhanced version of OCT4 to establish LIF-dependent human iPSCs without the use of inhibitors and sustained transgene expression. These cells belong to the primed type of pluripotent stem cell, similar to bFGF-dependent iPSCs. Thus, the particular cytokine required for iPSC production does not necessarily define stem cell phenotypes as previously thought. It is likely that the bFGF and LIF signaling pathways converge on unidentified OCT4 target genes. These findings suggest that our LIF-dependent human iPSCs could provide a novel model to investigate the role of cytokine signaling in cellular reprogramming.

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