Reprogramming with defined factors: From induced pluripotency to induced transdifferentiation

Manuel Masip, Anna Veiga, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, Carlos Simón*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Ever since work on pluripotency induction was originally published, reporting the reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) by the ectopic expression of the four transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, high expectations regarding their potential use for regenerative medicine have emerged. Very recently, the direct conversion of fibroblasts into functional neurons with no prior pluripotent stage has been described. Interconversion between adult cells from ontogenically different lineages by an induced transdifferentiation process based on the overexpression of a cocktail of transcription factors, while avoiding transition through an embryonic stem cell-like state, provides a new impetus in the field of regenerative medicine. Here, we review the induced reprogramming of somatic cells with defined factors and analyze their potential clinical use. Beginning with induced pluripotency, we summarize the initial objections including their extremely low efficiency and the risk of tumor generation. We also review recent reports describing iPS cells' capacity to generate viable offspring through tetraploid complementation, the most restrictive pluripotency criterion. Finally, we explore the available evidence for 'induced transdifferentiated cells' as a novel tool for adult cell fate modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergaq059
Pages (from-to)856-868
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • IPS cells
  • Induced cell fate change
  • Induced pluripotency
  • Reprogramming
  • Transdifferentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Reprogramming with defined factors: From induced pluripotency to induced transdifferentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this