Profiling and quantification of pluripotency reprogramming reveal that WNT pathways and cell morphology have to be reprogramed extensively

Kejin Hu, Lara Ianov, David Crossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Pluripotent state can be established via reprogramming of somatic nuclei by factors within an oocyte or by ectopic expression of a few transgenes. Considered as being extensive and intensive, the full complement of genes to be reprogrammed, however, has never been defined, nor has the degree of reprogramming been determined quantitatively. Here, we propose a new concept of reprogramome, which is defined as the full complement of genes to be reprogrammed to the expression levels found in pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). This concept in combination with RNA-seq enables us to precisely profile reprogramome and sub-reprogramomes, and study the reprogramming process with the help of other available tools such as GO analyses. With reprogramming of human fibroblasts into PSCs as an example, we have defined the full complement of the human fibroblast-to-PSC reprogramome. Furthermore, our analyses of the reprogramome revealed that WNT pathways and genes with roles in cellular morphogenesis should be extensively and intensely reprogrammed for the establishment of pluripotency. We further developed a new mathematical model to quantitate the overall reprogramming, as well as reprogramming in a specific cellular feature such as WNT signaling pathways and genes regulating cellular morphogenesis. We anticipate that our concept and mathematical model may be applied to study and quantitate other reprogramming (pluripotency reprogramming from other somatic cells, and lineage reprogramming), as well as transcriptional and epigenetic differences between any two types of cells including cancer cells and their normal counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere04035
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological sciences
  • Cell biology
  • Cellular reprogramming
  • Developmental biology
  • Human fibroblasts
  • Human pluripotency
  • Induced pluripotent stem cell
  • Mathematical biosciences
  • Mathematical model
  • Molecular biology
  • Quantification
  • RNA-seq
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Reprogramome
  • Systems biology
  • Transcriptional profiling
  • Transcriptomics
  • iPSC


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