Review on Cell Reprogramming: Methods and Applications

Animaw Andargie, Fanos Tadesse, Tilaye Shibbiru


Cellular differentiation and development appears as a unidirectional process to specific cell fates irreversibly. Once differentiated, mature cells seems permanently locked into the differentiated state and unable to return to pluripotent stem cell state. However, using cell reprogramming methods it is possible to do reversal cell fate from a mature differentiated state to an undifferentiated state or directly to that of progenitors or mature cells of a different cell type. This is due to the resetting of the somatic cell specific epigenotype to the pluripotential cell specific epigenotype. Different methods are used to reprogram somatic cells into pluripotent cells. Among which are somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, genetic integration of cells extracts into chromatin and direct reprogramming using transcription factor integration. These methods result in morphological and molecular changes because of modification in chromatin and gene expression. The integration of the genome can be performed by the help of viral and non-viral vectors which have great variability the integration efficiency. Reprogrammed induced Pluripotent stem cells (iPS) and the recent induced endodermal cells are a few cell types to mention. Though these cells have numerous limitation in cell transplantation therapy but are promising cell for diseases modeling, drug discovery and bio-artificial organ synthesis. The major problems observed is retaining somatic cell genetic memory. Generally it is possible to reprogram personalized cells using different methods so that it can be patient specific.

Keywords: pluripotent, reprogramming, stem cell, transcription factors, vectors. 

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