Effects of reprogramming on genomic imprinting and the application of pluripotent stem cells

Xiajun Li, Max Jiahua Li, Yang Yang, Yun Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Pluripotent stem cells are considered to be the ideal candidates for cell-based therapies in humans. In this regard, both nuclear transfer embryonic stem (ntES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are particularly advantageous because patient-specific autologous ntES and iPS cells can avoid immunorejection and other side effects that may be present in the allogenic pluripotent stem cells derived from unrelated sources. However, they have been found to contain deleterious genetic and epigenetic changes that may hinder their therapeutic applications. Indeed, deregulation of genomic imprinting has been frequently observed in reprogrammed ntES and iPS cells. We will survey the recent studies on genomic imprinting in pluripotent stem cells, particularly in iPS cells. In a previous study published about six years ago, genomic imprinting was found to be variably lost in mouse iPS clones. Intriguingly, de novo DNA methylation also occurred at the previously unmethylated imprinting control regions (ICRs) in a high percentage of iPS clones. These unexpected results were confirmed by a recent independent study with a similar approach. Since dysregulation of genomic imprinting can cause many human diseases including cancer and neurological disorders, these recent findings on genomic imprinting in reprogramming may have some implications for therapeutic applications of pluripotent stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101655
JournalStem Cell Research
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Allele-specific
  • DNA methylation
  • Genomic imprinting
  • Imprinting control region (ICR)
  • Mono-allelic expression
  • Parent-of-origin-dependent
  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • Reprogramming
  • iPS cells
  • ntES cells


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