Robert L Judson, Joshua E Babiarz, Monica Venere, Robert Blelloch
This paper reports my first exploration into the use of microRNAs to induce transitions in cells state. Using the Yamanaka-strategy, I asked whether miRNAs that were highly and specifically expressed in ESCs could aid in the reprogramming of differentiated cells into iPSCs. We found that miRNAs from the miR-302 and miR-290 clusters could replace cMyc in the Oct4/Sox2/Klf4/cMyc cocktail of transcription factors and induce full de-differentiation of mouse fibroblasts. Interestingly, the microRNAs also conferred more specificity to the transition as compared to cMyc, and did not result in partially reprogrammed colonies or transformed cells.
miR-294 and miR-302 increase the sensitivity of fibroblasts to OSK-induced somatic cell reprogramming. Point mutations to the seed sequence abrogate this effect. Increasing doses of miR-294 bring the efficiency to Myc-like levels.