University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have developed a new strategy to improve the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).
Currently, iPS cells are created by introducing four defined genes to an adult cell. The genes reprogram the adult cell into a stem cell, which can differentiate into many different types of the cells in the body. Typically, the four genes introduced are Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, a combination known as OSKM.
The U of M researchers found that by fusing two proteins – a master stem cell regulator (Oct4) and a fragment of a muscle cell inducer (MyoD)