A piano (Proper, insufficient, aberrant, and no reprogramming) response to the yamanaka factors in the initial stages of human ipsc reprogramming

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Yamanaka reprogramming is revolutionary but inefficient, slow, and stochastic. The underlying molecular events for these mixed outcomes of induction of pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) reprogramming is still unclear. Previous studies about transcriptional responses to reprogramming overlooked human reprogramming and are compromised by the fact that only a rare population proceeds towards pluripotency, and a significant amount of the collected transcriptional data may not represent the positive reprogramming. We recently developed a concept of reprogramome, which allows one to study the early transcriptional responses to the Yamanaka factors in the perspective of reprogramming legitimacy of a gene response to reprogramming. Using RNA-seq, this study scored 579 genes successfully reprogrammed within 48 h, indicating the potency of the reprogramming factors. This report also tallied 438 genes reprogrammed significantly but insufficiently up to 72 h, indicating a positive drive with some inadequacy of the Yamanaka factors. In addition, 953 member genes within the reprogramome were transcriptionally irresponsive to reprogramming, showing the inability of the reprogramming factors to directly act on these genes. Furthermore, there were 305 genes undergoing six types of aberrant reprogramming: over, wrong, and unwanted upreprogramming or downreprogramming, revealing significant negative impacts of the Yamanaka factors. The mixed findings about the initial transcriptional responses to the reprogramming factors shed new insights into the robustness as well as limitations of the Yamanaka factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3229
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2 May 2020


  • Aberrant reprogramming
  • Human iPSC
  • Human induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Metabolic reprogramming
  • Reprogramming legitimacy
  • Reprogramome
  • Transcriptional profiling
  • Transcriptional response
  • Yamanaka factors


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