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J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 8;286(14):12417-28. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.168013. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Simple generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells using poly-beta-amino esters as the non-viral gene delivery system.

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Center of Regenerative Medicine of Barcelona, Doctor Aiguader 88, p7, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.


Reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be achieved by the delivery of a combination of transcription factors, including Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. Retroviral and lentiviral vectors are commonly used to express these four reprogramming factors separately and obtain reprogrammed iPS cells. Although efficient and reproducible, these approaches involve the time-consuming and labor-intensive production of retroviral or lentiviral particles together with a high risk of working with potentially harmful viruses overexpressing potent oncogenes, such as c-Myc. Here, we describe a simple method to produce bona fide iPS cells from human fibroblasts using poly-β-amino esters as the transfection reagent for the delivery of a single CAG-driven polycistronic plasmid expressing Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, and a GFP reporter gene (OSKMG). We demonstrate for the first time that poly-β-amino esters can be used to deliver a single polycistronic reprogramming vector into human fibroblasts, achieving significantly higher transfection efficiency than with conventional transfection reagents. After a protocol of serial transfections using poly-β-amino esters, we report a simple methodology to generate human iPS cells from human fibroblasts avoiding the use of viral vectors.

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