Overexpression of four factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, Myc, or
Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28) reprogram somatic cells to become induced pluripotent
stem (iPS) cells. Reprogramming accompanies genetic and epigenetic changes, and
its molecular mechanism is still unknown. We recently showed that in iPS cells
the global DNA methylation status is close to that of human embryonic stem
(hES) cells, suggesting the epigenetic resetting during reprogramming.
Furthermore, we have showed the possible dissection of stages in reprogramming
through live cell imaging analysis.
We will investigate the molecular mechanism of genetic and
epigenetic change during reprogramming. iPS cells show similar characteristics
as hES cells, such as self-renewal and pluripotency, and provide an incredible
resource for cell-based therapy, in vitro disease model and screening drugs.