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Induced Pluripotent Cells Derived from Differentiated Rod Photoreceptors Undergo Efficient Retinogenesis in Three-Dimensional Cultures

"Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are used to study lineage-specific differentiation in culture. We developed a standardized quantitative protocol called STEM-RET to compare eye field specification, optic cup formation, and retinal differentiation across stem cell populations. We reprogrammed individual rod photoreceptors into iPSCs by inducible expression of Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, and Myc. We also developed ESC lines from rods by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Using the STEM-RET protocol, we compared the abilities of ESCs, fibroblast-derived iPSCs (f-iPSCs), rod photoreceptor-derived iPSCs (r-iPSCs), and rod photoreceptorderived ESCs to form retinae using STEM-RET. r-iPSCs were the most efficient at producing differentiated retina. Retinae derived from f-iPSCs lacked an inner nuclear layer (INL) and had a concomitant reduction in amacrine cells and other INL cell populations. The INL-specific LIM homeobox gene, Lhx9, was hypermethylated in fiPSCs and concomitantly downregulated in retinae derived from those stem cells. ChIP-seq analysis for H3K36me3, H3K4me1, H3K4me3, H3K9/14Ac, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, CTCF and 5 hydroxymethyl cytosine showed that the major difference between the r-iPSCs and the f-iPSCs were in the genes marked by the CTCF insulator protein. Importantly, CTCF binding enrichment at rod photoreceptor specific genes was at least 10-fold higher in r-iPSCs relative to f-iPSCs. Taken together, our data suggest that both inhibitory and permissive epigenetic marks important for retinal development can be retained in iPSCs and such marks can be exploited to select the most favorable stem cell population to study retinal development or produce photoreceptor precursors for cell transplantation."

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001001415 Illumina HiSeq 2000 2
EGAD00001001416 Illumina HiSeq 2000 18
EGAD00001001418 Illumina HiSeq 2000 8