Cell reprogramming is a technique that causes morphological and molecular changes in cells by modifying chromatin and gene expression. A variety of reprogramming techniques have been developed to remove epigenetic barriers and allow cells to regain the pluripotency, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, genome integration via viral and non-viral vectors, and transcription factor cocktails. The conventional reprogramming strategies are to return differentiated cells to a pluripotent state, while the alternative strategy is lineage reprogramming, which directly induces functional cell types from one lineage to another lineage without passing through an intermediate pluripotent or multipotent state.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a technique that implants the nuclear of a somatic cell into an enucleated oocyte to yield embryonic stem cells (ESCs). This nuclear cloning technique enables terminally differentiated somatic cells to gain totipotency, but it has obvious limitations, including the limited number of oocytes available, ethical issues, and low efficiency. The fusion of somatic cells and pluripotent ESCs is another method to produce reprogrammed cells. The cytoplasm of ESCs contains reprogramming factors which can alter the epigenetic state of a somatic cell toward pluripotency. These hybrid cells express reactivated pluripotent markers and exhibit properties similar to ESCs. Oocytes and ESCs contain multiple gene products that may be involved in reprogramming, affecting the reprogramming efficiency of SCNT and cell fusion. In contrast, the factors in the transcription factor-mediated reprogramming approach are known and can be easily modulated, making the examination of reprogramming process less complicated and easier to follow. Transcription factor mediated reprogramming allows to redirect somatic cells to an ESC-fate or to another lineage-specific cell type. The direct conversion of somatic cells from one lineage to another has been described as direct reprogramming, also known as transdifferentiation. Compared to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming, direct reprogramming is a faster and more efficient process and has unique advantages for tissue repair. Direct reprogramming enables the conversion of cells in situ without transitioning through an intermediate state and without the need for ex vivo cell expansion and transplantation.
The development of cell reprogramming creates new avenues in basic research for disease modeling, drug discovery and screening, bio-artificial organ synthesis and cell transplantation therapy. Amerigo Scientific offers a wide range of reprogramming tools to simplify cell reprogramming, including reprogramming proteins, lysates, viral vectors, non-viral vectors, and reporter virus particles. Each vector has been sequenced and rigorously tested to ensure functionality. Using these off-the-shelf tools saves a lot of time in developing basic vectors. In addition, our episomal plasmid and lentivirus are significant efficient in reprogramming fibroblasts from mouse, rat and human.