Friday, 30 November 2018 11:15

PEI: Chromatin-opening Element improves stem cell yield Featured

Scientists at Paul Ehrlich Institute have developed a method with which the reliable production of genetically modified induced pluripotent stem cells can be improved.

Induced pluripotent stem (iPSC) cells can be further developed into a variety of cell types. Using a so-called vector genome, e.g. a defanged virus, transcription factors are introduced into the cells enabling a modification of the cells. However, as a side effect, this often leads to an expression stop of the specific gene segment. The gene information of both, the vector and the desired gene segment becomes unreadable due to an epigenetic mechanism attached to the DNA (vector silencing).

The scientists are now able to eliminate the undesired side effect by their new gene tool that is additionally introduced into the cells via the vector. The section represents a so-called chromatin-opening element (UCOE®), which keeps the gene section free from the blockage and permanently open for reading. Thus a pluripotency resp. differentiation ability of the cells can be maintained.

The researchers presented their development in the journal Biomaterials.
Cullmann, K., Blokland, K. E. C., Sebe, S., Schenk, F., Ivics, Z., Heinz, N. & Modlich, U. (2018). Sustained and regulated gene expression by Tet-inducible "All-In-One" retroviral vectors containing the HNRPA2B1-CBX3 UCOE. Biomaterials, 24.11.2018.