Generation of Murine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells through Transposon-Mediated Reprogramming
The seminal discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells through ectopic expression of a cocktail of gene factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC) by the group of Yamanaka was a major breakthrough, gained widespread acclaim and garnered much attention in the field of stem cell science. The iPS cells possess most of the characteristics and advantages of embryonic stem (ES) cells without the association of ethical stigma for their derivation. In addition, these cells can give rise to any cell type of the body and thus have tremendous potential for many downstream applications in research and regenerative medicine. The original method requires viral transduction of several reprogramming factors, which may be associated with an increased risk of oncogenicity and insertional mutagenesis. Nonviral methods for generation of iPS cells through somatic cell reprogramming are powerful tools for establishing in vitro disease models, development of new protocols for treatment of different diseases, and creating transgenic mice models. Here, we present a detailed protocol for the generation of transposon-mediated iPS cells from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and give a short overview of the characterization of the generated iPS cell lines.