Direct transdifferentiation by defined factors (aka “direct reprogramming”) is an alternative to iPS cell technique for generation autologous therapeutic cells. The recent study, published in Cell Stem Cell journal, demonstrates that mouse and human fibroblasts could be converted directly into spinal motor neurons. Importantly, the authors functionally validate mature cell type, generated by direct reprogramming:
- Human and mouse fibroblasts are directly converted to induced motor neurons (iMNs)
- iMNs are molecularly and electrophysiologically bona fide motor neurons
- iMNs innervate muscle, integrate into CNS in vivo, and recapitulate ALS phenotypes
- A Nestin+ progenitor state is bypassed during transdifferentiation into iMNs
The paper is available in open access.
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