In the last blog post of this weekly series we talked about the different types of pluripotent stem cells, let’s talk more about induced pluripotent stem cells and how to create them?

What are induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)? 
iPSCs are genetically reprogrammed somatic cells which exhibit a pluripotent stem cell–like state similar to embryonic stem cells. iPSCs can be derived by inducing selected gene expression via various methods including retrovirus-mediated gene transduction, chemical induction and the CytoTune®-iPS Sendai Reprogramming Kit.

iPSC colony stained with Alkaline Phosphatase Live Stain

The picture above is an iPSC colony stained with Alkaline Phosphatase Live Stain

What is the CytoTune®-iPS Sendai Reprogramming Kit?
The CytoTune® -iPS Sendai Reprogramming Kit is a non-integrating system that reprograms somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This kit utilizes Sendai virus-based vectors each capable of expressing one of the four Yamanaka factors: Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. The expression of these transcription factors in somatic cells has been shown to be a critical factor in the successful generation of iPSCs.

What is Sendai virus (SeV)?
Sendai virus, also known as Hemagglutinating Virus of Japan (HVJ), is a respiratory virus of mouse and rat first isolated in Sendai, Japan in the early 1950s. The virus is classified as mouse parainfluenza virus type I, belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family. SeV is an enveloped virus, 150–250 nm in diameter, whose genome is a single chain of (-) sense RNA (15,384 bases). The virus infects cells by attaching to the sialic acid receptor present on the surface of many different cells and is thus able to infect a wide range of cell types of various animal species.