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      The homeobox gene DLX4 promotes generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells

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          The reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by defined transcription factors has been a well-established technique and will provide an invaluable resource for regenerative medicine. However, the low reprogramming efficiency of human iPSC is still a limitation for clinical application. Here we showed that the reprogramming potential of human dental pulp cells (DPCs) obtained from immature teeth is much higher than those of mature teeth DPCs. Furthermore, immature teeth DPCs can be reprogrammed by OCT3/4 and SOX2, conversely these two factors are insufficient to convert mature teeth DPCs to pluripotent states. Using a gene expression profiles between these two DPC groups, we identified a new transcript factor, distal-less homeobox 4 (DLX4), which was highly expressed in immature teeth DPCs and significantly promoted human iPSC generation in combination with OCT3/4, SOX2, and KLF4. We further show that activation of TGF-β signaling suppresses the expression of DLX4 in DPCs and impairs the iPSC generation of DPCs. Our findings indicate that DLX4 can functionally replace c-MYC and supports efficient reprogramming of immature teeth DPCs.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Reprogramming of human somatic cells to pluripotency with defined factors.

          Pluripotency pertains to the cells of early embryos that can generate all of the tissues in the organism. Embryonic stem cells are embryo-derived cell lines that retain pluripotency and represent invaluable tools for research into the mechanisms of tissue formation. Recently, murine fibroblasts have been reprogrammed directly to pluripotency by ectopic expression of four transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc) to yield induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Using these same factors, we have derived iPS cells from fetal, neonatal and adult human primary cells, including dermal fibroblasts isolated from a skin biopsy of a healthy research subject. Human iPS cells resemble embryonic stem cells in morphology and gene expression and in the capacity to form teratomas in immune-deficient mice. These data demonstrate that defined factors can reprogramme human cells to pluripotency, and establish a method whereby patient-specific cells might be established in culture.
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            Suppression of induced pluripotent stem cell generation by the p53-p21 pathway.

            Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from somatic cells by the introduction of Oct3/4 (also known as Pou5f1), Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, in mouse and in human. The efficiency of this process, however, is low. Pluripotency can be induced without c-Myc, but with even lower efficiency. A p53 (also known as TP53 in humans and Trp53 in mice) short-interfering RNA (siRNA) was recently shown to promote human iPS cell generation, but the specificity and mechanisms remain to be determined. Here we report that up to 10% of transduced mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking p53 became iPS cells, even without the Myc retrovirus. The p53 deletion also promoted the induction of integration-free mouse iPS cells with plasmid transfection. Furthermore, in the p53-null background, iPS cells were generated from terminally differentiated T lymphocytes. The suppression of p53 also increased the efficiency of human iPS cell generation. DNA microarray analyses identified 34 p53-regulated genes that are common in mouse and human fibroblasts. Functional analyses of these genes demonstrate that the p53-p21 pathway serves as a barrier not only in tumorigenicity, but also in iPS cell generation.
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              Stem cell properties of human dental pulp stem cells.

              In this study, we characterized the self-renewal capability, multi-lineage differentiation capacity, and clonogenic efficiency of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). DPSCs were capable of forming ectopic dentin and associated pulp tissue in vivo. Stromal-like cells were reestablished in culture from primary DPSC transplants and re-transplanted into immunocompromised mice to generate a dentin-pulp-like tissue, demonstrating their self-renewal capability. DPSCs were also found to be capable of differentiating into adipocytes and neural-like cells. The odontogenic potential of 12 individual single-colony-derived DPSC strains was determined. Two-thirds of the single-colony-derived DPSC strains generated abundant ectopic dentin in vivo, while only a limited amount of dentin was detected in the remaining one-third. These results indicate that single-colony-derived DPSC strains differ from each other with respect to their rate of odontogenesis. Taken together, these results demonstrate that DPSCs possess stem-cell-like qualities, including self-renewal capability and multi-lineage differentiation.

                Author and article information

                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                04 December 2014
                : 4
                [1 ]Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine , 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu City, Gifu 501-1194, Japan
                [2 ]Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University , 53 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine , 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu City, Gifu 501-1194, Japan
                [4 ]Laboratory of Medical Therapeutics and Molecular Therapeutics, Gifu Pharmaceutical University , 1-25-4 Daigaku-Nishi, Gifu 501-1195, Japan
                [5 ]Division of Cellular Biosignal Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Iwate Medical University , 19-1 Uchimaru, Morioka, Iwate 020-8505, Japan
                [6 ]Molecular Profiling Research Center for Drug Discovery, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology , 2-4-7 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
                Author notes
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