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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2016 Mar;17(3):183-93. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2016.8. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

A decade of transcription factor-mediated reprogramming to pluripotency.

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Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8507, Japan, and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


The past 10 years have seen great advances in our ability to manipulate cell fate, including the induction of pluripotency in vitro to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This process proved to be remarkably simple from a technical perspective, only needing the host cell and a defined cocktail of transcription factors, with four factors - octamer-binding protein 3/4 (OCT3/4), SOX2, Kr├╝ppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) and MYC (collectively referred to as OSKM) - initially used. The mechanisms underlying transcription factor-mediated reprogramming are still poorly understood; however, several mechanistic insights have recently been obtained. Recent years have also brought significant progress in increasing the efficiency of this technique, making it more amenable to applications in the fields of regenerative medicine, disease modelling and drug discovery.

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