Posted on Feb 19, 2010, 6 a.m.
Stanford University (US) researchers create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by a virus-free genetic technique.
There is an increased risk of mutagenesis during the process of transforming stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Joseph C Wu, from Stanford University School of Medicine (California, USA), and colleagues have devised a virus-free technique to introduce genes into stem cells. The researchers developed “'minicircle” DNA, tiny circles of genetic material that is absent of bacterial DNA and capable of high expression in cells. Noting that this is the first time that adult (non-embryonic) stem cells have been reprogrammed in this way, the team is hopeful it marks an important advance toward the therapeutic use of such cells in the clinical medical setting.
Fangjun Jia, Kitchener D Wilson, Ning Sun, Deepak M Gupta, Mei Huang, Zongjin Li, Nicholas J Panetta, Zhi Ying Chen, Robert C Robbins, Mark A Kay, et al. “A nonviral minicircle vector for deriving human iPS cells.” Nature Methods, 7 February 2010; doi:10.1038/nmeth.1426.