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News & Blogs » CRISPR News » Scientists Successfully Turned Skin Cells into Stem Cells Using CRISPR Genome Editing
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Scientists Successfully Turned Skin Cells into Stem Cells Using CRISPR Genome Editing

Feb 11, 2018

Pluripotent stem cells are cells that can propagate indefinitely and hold strong promise in the field of regenerative medicine. As the key resource for many incurable diseases, scientists have been trying to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult cells. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka is the first person who discovered that mature adult cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent and was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize. Dr. Yamanaka showed that, by introducing 4 specific transcription factors encoding genes, mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cells can be converted to iPSCs.

Recently, scientists at the Gladstone Institute discovered a new approach to converting adult cells into iPSCs. In the study published on Cell Stem Cell, Liu et al. studied the mechanism of which mature cells can be reprogrammed into iPSCs. The authors used CRISPR genome editing technology to directly target the endogenous gene loci of Oct4 and Sox2. These two genes are solely expressed in stem cells and essential for maintaining cell pluripotency. They results showed what single-locus targeting of Sox2 was sufficient to induce the expression of Sox2 and other pluripotent genes, thus the establishment of cell pluripotency. In addition, histone acetylation manipulation of Oct4 gene locus induced cell reprogramming as well. Overall, this study suggested a new way of generating authentic iPSCs and help elucidated how targeted chromatin editing induces cell reprogramming and pluripotency.


Peng Liu, et al. CRISPR-Based Chromatin Remodeling of the Endogenous Oct4 or Sox2Locus Enables Reprogramming to Pluripotenc, Cell Stem Cell. 2018; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2017.12.001.

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