Nature 450, 497-502 (22 November 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06357; Received 24 May 2007; Accepted 9 October 2007; Published online 14 November 2007

There is a Brief Communication Arising (22 November 2007) associated with this document.

There is a Corrigendum (11 December 2014) associated with this document.

Producing primate embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer

J. A. Byrne1,5, D. A. Pedersen1, L. L. Clepper1, M. Nelson3, W. G. Sanger3, S. Gokhale3, D. P. Wolf1 & S. M. Mitalipov1,2

  1. Oregon National Primate Research Center and,
  2. Oregon Stem Cell Center, Oregon Health & Science University, 505 N.W. 185th Avenue, Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA
  3. Munroe-Meyer Institute, 985450 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198, USA
  4. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA
  5. Present address: Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.

Correspondence to: S. M. Mitalipov1,2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to S.M.M. (Email:


Derivation of embryonic stem (ES) cells genetically identical to a patient by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) holds the potential to cure or alleviate the symptoms of many degenerative diseases while circumventing concerns regarding rejection by the host immune system. However, the concept has only been achieved in the mouse, whereas inefficient reprogramming and poor embryonic development characterizes the results obtained in primates. Here, we used a modified SCNT approach to produce rhesus macaque blastocysts from adult skin fibroblasts, and successfully isolated two ES cell lines from these embryos. DNA analysis confirmed that nuclear DNA was identical to donor somatic cells and that mitochondrial DNA originated from oocytes. Both cell lines exhibited normal ES cell morphology, expressed key stem-cell markers, were transcriptionally similar to control ES cells and differentiated into multiple cell types in vitro and in vivo. Our results represent successful nuclear reprogramming of adult somatic cells into pluripotent ES cells and demonstrate proof-of-concept for therapeutic cloning in primates.


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