Human transcription factors responsive to initial reprogramming predominantly undergo legitimate reprogramming during fibroblast conversion to iPSCs

Academic Article


  • The four transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and MYC (OSKM) together can convert human fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). It is, however, perplexing that they can do so only for a rare population of the starting cells with a long latency. Transcription factors (TFs) define identities of both the starting fibroblasts and the end product, iPSCs, and are also of paramount importance for the reprogramming process. It is critical to upregulate or activate the iPSC-enriched TFs while downregulate or silence the fibroblast-enriched TFs. This report explores the initial TF responses to OSKM as the molecular underpinnings for both the potency aspects and the limitation sides of the OSKM reprogramming. The authors first defined the TF reprogramome, i.e., the full complement of TFs to be reprogrammed. Most TFs were resistant to OSKM reprogramming at the initial stages, an observation consistent with the inefficiency and long latency of iPSC reprogramming. Surprisingly, the current analyses also revealed that most of the TFs (at least 83 genes) that did respond to OSKM induction underwent legitimate reprogramming. The initial legitimate transcriptional responses of TFs to OSKM reprogramming were also observed in the reprogramming fibroblasts from a different individual. Such early biased legitimate reprogramming of the responsive TFs aligns well with the robustness aspect of the otherwise inefficient and stochastic OSKM reprogramming.
  • Published In

  • Scientific Reports  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cevallos RR; Edwards YJK; Parant JM; Yoder BK; Hu K
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 1