Research abstract

Article abstract

Nature Biotechnology 26, 1276 - 1284 (2008)
Published online: 17 October 2008 | doi:10.1038/nbt.1503

Efficient and rapid generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human keratinocytes

Trond Aasen1,3, Angel Raya1,2,3, Maria J Barrero1, Elena Garreta1,3, Antonella Consiglio1,4, Federico Gonzalez1,5, Rita Vassena1, Josipa Bilic acute1, Vladimir Pekarik1, Gustavo Tiscornia1, Michael Edel1, Stéphanie Boué1,3 & Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte1,5

The utility of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for investigating the molecular logic of pluripotency and for eventual clinical application is limited by the low efficiency of current methods for reprogramming. Here we show that reprogramming of juvenile human primary keratinocytes by retroviral transduction with OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC is at least 100-fold more efficient and twofold faster compared with reprogramming of human fibroblasts. Keratinocyte-derived iPS (KiPS) cells appear indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells in colony morphology, growth properties, expression of pluripotency-associated transcription factors and surface markers, global gene expression profiles and differentiation potential in vitro and in vivo. To underscore the efficiency and practicability of this technology, we generated KiPS cells from single adult human hairs. Our findings provide an experimental model for investigating the bases of cellular reprogramming and highlight potential advantages of using keratinocytes to generate patient-specific iPS cells.

  1. Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
  2. Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA).
  3. Networking Center of Biomedical Research in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN).
  4. Department of Biomedical Science and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy.
  5. Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

Correspondence to: Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte1,5 e-mail:


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