Induced pluripotent stem cells
Mostoslavsky, Gustavo Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology and Center for Regenerative Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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- Genes and cells of origin
- Methodology as the key for the use of iPS cells in regenerative medicine
- Clinical application of iPS cells
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Mature cells that have been reprogrammed genetically to an embryonic-like state that then can give rise to one of many different cell types. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells; Fig. 1) represent a major breakthrough in stem cell research. Stem cells are cells that have the ability to self-replicate and to give rise to mature cells. Through the use of genetic engineering techniques, investigators have reverted adult mature cells into embryonic-like stem cells that are pluripotent (that is, having the capacity to generate any cell type in the body). This ability to create iPS cells that can develop into any of the many types of human cells is particularly important for therapeutic purposes. In particular, the discovery that easily accessible somatic (body) cells can be induced to turn their biological clocks back and become pluripotent has opened a new window for the future of regenerative medicine and transplantation biology. See also: Cell (biology); Cell biology; Cell differentiation; Cell fate determination; Cell lineage; Genetic engineering; Regenerative biology; Stem cell maintenance in embryos and adults; Stem cells; Transplantation biology
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