In the latest milestone on the road toward reprogramming cells to pluripotency without permanent genetic modification, researchers have successfully turned the clock back on adult stem cells using only a single transcription factor, according to a study published today (Feb. 5) in__ linkurl:Cell.; __Ever since Kyoto University's linkurl:Shinya Yamanaka; showed in 2006 that the overexpression of just four genes -- c-Myc, Sox2, Oct4, and Klf4 -- could effectively turn adult skin cells into embryonic-like induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, researchers have been in a race to simplify the recipe. Last year, a team led by Hans Schöler of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, Germany, found that just two of the standard four genes -- Oct4 and Klf4 -- were necessary to reprogram mouse adult neural stem cells. Now, Schöler has cut that number in half again by fine-tuning his protocol to only a single factor: Oct4....

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?