“Reprogramming” technology artificially manipulates cell fate determination and enables to prioritize targeted cell lineage differentiation. Discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in 2006 led to excessive development of various reprogramming methods during the last decade, representing indubitably innovative technology in basic biology and regenerative medicine.
Reprogramming technology still faces several hurdles. Most pending problems relate to “cell quality”, such as low reprogramming efficiency and reprogramming differentiation ability. Required for the medical application large – scale production of iPS cells is still a problem due to inefficiency and long timing of iPS cells generation. One of the causes is that molecular basis of the reprogramming switch, called a transcription factor, has not been sufficiently elucidated yet.
We have developed structurally-discovered KLF4 variants accelerate and stabilize reprogramming to pluripotency (Borisova et al., 2021).
Our study demonstrates how modifications in amino acid residues of DNA-binding domains enable next-generation reprogramming technology with engineered reprogramming factors.