Two Papers Open a New Window into Pluripotency

The ISSCR is pleased to help spread the news about two papers published online today in Nature that describe the induction of pluripotency in cells from a newborn mouse without the use of extrinsic transcription factors, chemical manipulation or nuclear transfer. Haruko Obokata and colleagues have dubbed their method for reprogramming somatic cells to unrestricted potency through exposure to stress, including a short exposure to a lowered pH, “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” (STAP). These unexpected findings open a new window into the underpinnings of pluripotency and we look forward to seeing this observation repeated and extended into humans.

Read the papers:
Obokata, H., Wakayama, T., Sasai, Y., Kojima, K., Vacanti, M. P., Hiwa, H., Yamato, M. and Vacanti, C. A. (2014). Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency. Nature 505, 641-647

Obokata, H., Sasai, Y., Hiwa, H., Kadota, M., Andrabi, M., Takata, N., Tokoro, M., Terashita, Y., Yonemura, S., Vacanti, C. A. and Wakayama, T. (2014). Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency. Nature 505, 676-680.

Read the Commentary
Smith, A. (2014). Potency unchained. Nature 505, 622-623.

Additional Reading on the History of Reprogramming
Lensch, M. W. and Mummery, C. L. (2013). From stealing fire to cellular reprogramming: a scientific history leading to the 2012 Nobel Prize. Stem Cell Reports, 1 5-17.