Development of an All-in-One Inducible Lentiviral Vector for Gene Specific Analysis of Reprogramming

Fair comparison of reprogramming efficiencies and in vitro differentiation capabilities among induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines has been hampered by the cellular and genetic heterogeneity of de novo infected somatic cells. In order to address this problem, we constructed a single cassette all-in-one inducible lentiviral vector (Ai-LV) for the expression of three reprogramming factors (Oct3/4, Klf4 and Sox2). To obtain multiple types of somatic cells having the same genetic background, we generated reprogrammable chimeric mice using iPSCs derived from Ai-LV infected somatic cells. Then, hepatic cells, hematopoietic cells and fibroblasts were isolated at different developmental stages from the chimeric mice, and reprogrammed again to generate 2nd iPSCs. The results revealed that somatic cells, especially fetal hepatoblasts were reprogrammed 1200 times more efficiently than adult hepatocytes with maximum reprogramming efficiency reaching 12.5%. However, we found that forced expression of c-Myc compensated for the reduced reprogramming efficiency in aged somatic cells without affecting cell proliferation. All these findings suggest that the Ai-LV system enables us to generate a panel of iPSC clones derived from various tissues with the same genetic background, and thus provides an invaluable tool for iPSC research.