Embryonic Stem (ES) cells have the ability to grow indefinitely while maintaining pluripotency and ability to differentiate into cells of all three germ layers [1, 2]. Since they were generated, human embryonic stem cells were expected to contribute significantly to regenerative medicine in the treatment of a host of diseases.
However, there are ethical difficulties regarding the use of human embryos, as well as the problem of tissue rejection following transplantation in patients. One way to circumvent these issues is the generation of pluripotent cells directly from the patients’ own cells, thus reducing the risk of rejection after transplant. Induced pluripotent stem cells were generated from mouse and human fibroblasts in 2006 and 2007 by introducing four transcription factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4) . This process was defined as direct reprogramming and the cells are known as IPS cells.
Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Initiative, HipSci, aims to create a catalogue of high quality adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) HipSci by bringing together diverse constitutents in genomics, proteomics, cell biology and clinical genetics to create a UK national iPS cell resource and use it to carry out cellular genetic studies (www.hipsci.org).
Being part of the initiative, we will carry out in depth proteomic characterization of iPS cells derived from healthy and individuals as well as individuals with genetic diseases. The proteomics data will be correlated with the genomics and transcriptomics data to provide better understanding of gene function and its effect on health. The developed and optimized methods for comprehensive proteomics characterization used in the Lamond lab are extended to the characterization of iPS cell lines to achieve deep coverage of the proteome. The data will be made to the wider community in a user-friendly format.
1. M. J. Evans and M. H. Kaufman, Nature, 1981, 292, 154-156.
2. G. R. Martin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1981, 78, 7634-7638.
3. K. Takahashi and S. Yamanaka, Cell, 2006, 126, 663-676.