Malignant germ cell-like tumors, expressing Ki-1 antigen (CD30), are revealed during in vivo differentiation of partially reprogrammed human-induced pluripotent stem cells


Because many of the genes used to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from somatic cells are either outright established oncogenes, such as c-myc and Klf4, or potentially related to tumorigenesis in various cancers, both the safety and the risks of tumorigenesis linked to iPSC generation require evaluation. In this work, we generated, by lentivirus-mediated gene transfer of Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, and Lin28, two types of iPSCs from human mesenchymal stem cells and human amniotic fluid-derived cells: fully reprogrammed iPSCs with silencing of the four transgenes and partially reprogrammed iPSCs that still express one or several transgenes. We assessed the behavior of these cells during both their differentiation and proliferation using in vivo teratoma assays in nonobese diabetic mice with severe combined immunodeficiency. In contrast to fully reprogrammed iPSCs, 43% of partially reprogrammed iPSC cases (6 of 14 teratomas) generated major dysplasia and malignant tumors, with yolk sac tumors and embryonal carcinomas positive for α-fetoprotein, cytokeratin AE1/AE3, and CD30. This correlated with the expression of one or several transgenes used for the reprogramming, down-regulation of CDK 1A mRNA (p21/CDKN1A), and up-regulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 mRNA. Therefore, the oncogenicity of therapeutically valuable patient-specific iPSC-derived cells should be scrupulously evaluated before they are used for any clinical applications. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Authors Griscelli F, Féraud O, Oudrhiri N, Gobbo E, Casal I, Chomel JC, Biéche I, Duvillard P, Opolon P, Turhan AG, Bennaceur-Griscelli A
Journal The American journal of pathology
Publication Date 2012 May;180(5):2084-96
PubMed 22425713
DOI 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.01.011

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