Research Papers:

Immortalized murine fibroblast cell lines are refractory to reprogramming to pluripotent state

Elena V. Skvortsova _, Sergey A. Sinenko and Alexey N. Tomilin

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:35241-35250. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26235

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Elena V. Skvortsova1, Sergey A. Sinenko1,2 and Alexey N. Tomilin1,3

1Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, Russian Federation

2Division of Molecular and Radiation Biophysics, B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, Orlova Roscha, Gatchina, Russian Federation

3St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russian Federation

Correspondence to:

Sergey A. Sinenko, email: [email protected]

Alexey N. Tomilin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: iPSC; NIH3T3; STO; pluripotency; cell reprogramming

Received: July 25, 2018     Accepted: October 06, 2018     Published: October 16, 2018


To date different cell types of various mammalian species have been reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using Yamanaka's cocktail of transcription factors (Oct4, Klf4, Sox2, and cMyc). It has been shown that several primary human cancer cell lines could be reprogrammed to iPSCs. We sought if immortalized mouse fibroblast cell lines could also be reprogrammed to iPSCs. The approach of generating iPSCs from such cells should be valuable in different experimental settings as it allows clonally derive cell lines carrying mutations whose impact on reprogramming could be next evaluated. Therefore, we investigated reprogramming of widely used immortalized cell lines (NIH3T and STO), as well as of de novo immortalized fibroblast line (tKM) with the use of highly effective lentiviral polycistronic OKSM expression system. Our reprogramming experiments have shown that in contrast to mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), none of the immortalized cell lines can be reprogrammed to pluripotent state. Contrary to colonies derived from MEFs, those derived from the immortalized cells lines (1) developed much later, (2) contained large round cells, not typical for iPSCs, and (3) were negative for trusted markers of matured iPSCs, Nanog and SSEA1. Immortalized cell lines NIH3T and STO are known to be mostly aneuploid, whereas tKM population includes cells with normal karyotype, however, neither cell type can be reprogrammed. Thus our data argue that aneuploidy per se is not a reason for the observed refractoriness of mouse immortalized cells to reprogramming to pluripotent state.

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