Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Mar;1192(1):38-44.

iPS cell technology in regenerative medicine.

Lengner CJ.

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The promise of treating human genetic and degenerative diseases through the application of pluripotent cell-based tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has come significantly closer to realization since the isolation of human embryonic stem (ES) cells. While the study of ES cells has greatly increased our fundamental understanding of pluripotency, technical and ethical limitations have been seemingly insurmountable impediments to the application of these cells in the clinic. The recent discovery that somatic mammalian cells can be epigenetically reprogrammed to a pluripotent state through the exogenous expression of the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC has yielded a new cell type for potential application in regenerative medicine, the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell. Here we discuss how advances in iPS cell technology have led to the generation of patient-specific cell lines that can potentially be used to model human diseases and ultimately act as therapeutic agents.