RATIONALE:: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) allow derivation of pluripotent progenitors from somatic sources. Originally, iPS were induced by a stemness-related gene set that included the c-MYC oncogene. OBJECTIVE:: Here, we determined from embryo to adult the cardiogenic proficiency of iPS programmed without c-MYC, a cardiogenicity-associated transcription factor. METHODS AND RESULTS:: Transgenic expression of 3 human stemness factors SOX2, OCT4, and KLF4 here reset murine fibroblasts to the pluripotent ground state. Transduction without c-MYC reversed cellular ultrastructure into a primitive archetype and induced stem cell markers generating 3-germ layers, all qualifiers of acquired pluripotency. Three-factor induced iPS (3F-iPS) clones reproducibly demonstrated cardiac differentiation properties characterized by vigorous beating activity of embryoid bodies and robust expression of cardiac Mef2c, α-actinin, connexin43, MLC2a, and troponin I. In vitro isolated iPS-derived cardiomyocytes demonstrated functional excitation-contraction coupling. Chimerism with 3F-iPS derived by morula-stage diploid aggregation was sustained during prenatal heart organogenesis and contributed in vivo to normal cardiac structure and overall performance in adult tumor-free offspring. CONCLUSIONS:: Thus, 3F-iPS bioengineered without c-MYC achieve highest stringency criteria for bona fide cardiogenesis enabling reprogrammed fibroblasts to yield de novo heart tissue compatible with native counterpart throughout embryological development and into adulthood.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells
- Nuclear reprogramming
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine