DNA methylation dynamics in human induced pluripotent stem cells over time


Epigenetic reprogramming is a critical event in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Here, we determined the DNA methylation profiles of 22 human iPSC lines derived from five different cell types (human endometrium, placental artery endothelium, amnion, fetal lung fibroblast, and menstrual blood cell) and five human embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines, and we followed the aberrant methylation sites in iPSCs for up to 42 weeks. The iPSCs exhibited distinct epigenetic differences from ESCs, which were caused by aberrant methylation at early passages. Multiple appearances and then disappearances of random aberrant methylation were detected throughout iPSC reprogramming. Continuous passaging of the iPSCs diminished the differences between iPSCs and ESCs, implying that iPSCs lose the characteristics inherited from the parent cells and adapt to very closely resemble ESCs over time. Human iPSCs were gradually reprogrammed through the "convergence" of aberrant hyper-methylation events that continuously appeared in a de novo manner. This iPS reprogramming consisted of stochastic de novo methylation and selection/fixation of methylation in an environment suitable for ESCs. Taken together, random methylation and convergence are driving forces for long-term reprogramming of iPSCs to ESCs.

Authors Nishino K, Toyoda M, Yamazaki-Inoue M, Fukawatase Y, Chikazawa E, Sakaguchi H, Akutsu H, Umezawa A
Journal PLoS genetics
Publication Date 2011 May;7(5):e1002085
PubMed 21637780
PubMed Central PMC3102737
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002085

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