M.D., Ph.D. Professor Shinya Yamanaka
iPS cells are somatic cells that have been reprogrammed to the pluripotent state. They have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and differentiate into just about any cell type in the human body. For iPS cells to be used in regenerative medicine and drug discovery, scientists are establishing global standards to evaluate iPS cell safety and quality. These standards require new methods to prepare pluripotent cells and comprehensive study of the mechanisms that regulate pluripotency. Through this work, we will also create a new field of science.
Research and Education
The original iPS cells were made by using four transcription factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc) to reprogram fibroblasts. We are studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate pluripotency and the reprogramming process to improve the quality of iPS cells. Because they can be made from patient cells, iPS cells provide new disease models and drug screening assays. iPS cells also have the potential to treat a number of intractable diseases. On the basis of the studies of the molecular mechanisms and gene networks responsible for iPS cells, we have developed a standard protocol for the efficient production of safe iPS cells and started distributing clinical-grade iPS cells to research and medical institutes. This research aims to quickly translate iPS cells to clinical application. The study of iPS cells requires research groups of diverse scientific backgrounds, including molecular biology, cell biology and bioinformatics and the creation of a whole new field of science.
- Sugiyama, H., Takahashi, K., Yamamoto, T., Iwasaki, M., Narita, M., Nakamura, M., Rand, TA., Nakagawa, M., Watanabe, A., and Yamanaka, S. Nat1 promotes translation of specific proteins that induce differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114(2): 340-345, 2017. (Jan.)
- Nakagawa, M., Taniguchi, Y., Senda, S., Takizawa, N., Ichisaka T., Asano, K., Morizane, A., Doi, D., Takahashi, J., Nishizawa, M., Yoshida, Y., Toyoda, T., Osafune, K., Sekiguchi, K. and Yamanaka, S.: A novel efficient feeder-free culture system for the derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells, Scientific Reports, 4, 3594, 2014. (Jan.)
- Koyanagi-Aoi, M., Ohnuki, M., Takahashi, K., Okita, K., Noma, H., Sawamura, Y., Teramoto, I., Narita, M., Sato, Y., Ichisaka, T., Amano, N., Watanabe, A., Morizane, A., Yamada, Y., Satoe,, T. Takahashi, J. and Yamanaka, S.: Differentiation defective phenotypes revealed by large scale analysis of human pluripotent stem cells, PNAS, U.S.A., 110(51), 20569-20574, 2013. (Dec.)
- Kajiwara, M., Aoi, T., Okita, K., Takahashi, R., Inoue, H., Takayama, N., Endo, H., Eto, K., Toguchida, J., Uemoto, S., and Yamanaka, S. Donor-dependent variations in hepatic differentiation from human-induced pluripotent stem cells, PNAS, U.S.A., 109(31), 12538-12543, 2012. (Jul.)
- Okita,, K. Matsumura, Y., Sato, Y., Okada, A., Morizane, A., Okamoto, S., Hong, H., Nakagawa, M., Tanabe, K., Tezuka, K., Shibata, T., Kunisada, T., Takahashi, M., Takahashi, J., Saji, H. and Yamanaka, S.: A more efficient method to generate integration-free human iPS cells, Nature Methods, 8(5), 409-412, 2011. (May)