CRISPR Activation of Single Genes Turns Skin Cells to Stem Cells
Published:26 Jan.2018    Source:GEN
A new way of inducing pluripotency has been demonstrated by scientists based at the Gladstone Institutes. Rather than fuss with the usual transcription factors or drug-like chemicals, the Gladstone scientists, led by Sheng Ding, Ph.D., used CRISPR activation (CRISPRa). This technique, which incorporates a modified form of CRISPR gene-editing systems Cas9 enzyme, allowed Dr. Ding and colleagues to target and epigenetically remodel specific genomic locations: the Oct4 and Sox2 genes.
 
Remodeling either gene, the scientists discovered, turned skin cells from mice into stem cells. Detailed findings appeared January 19 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, in an article entitled “CRISPR-Based Chromatin Remodeling of the Endogenous Oct4 or Sox2 Locus Enables Reprogramming to Pluripotency.”