"We found that activating the innate immune system opens up the DNA," said Cooke, the study's senior author. "This open state enhances the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or cells that can have the ability to regenerate into other cell types and tissues, such as that of the brain, heart or liver."
The use of iPSCs to generate tissues would revolutionize transplantation, facilitating the growth of artificial organs. Cellular nuclear reprogramming is a powerful tool that enables researchers to direct a skin cell to become another type of tissue or organ. Cooke's team plans to use the activation of innate immunity to regenerate damaged tissues to improve wound healing or recovery after a heart attack.
The research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (U01HL100397, HL098049-01A1, and SR00003169/5U01HL099997), the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant (13SDG17340025).
Sayed N, Ospino F, Himmati F, Lee J, Chanda P, Mocarski ES, Cooke JP.
Retinoic Acid Inducible Gene 1 Protein (RIG1)-like Receptor Pathway is Required for Efficient Nuclear Reprogramming.
Stem Cells. 2017 Mar 9. doi: 10.1002/stem.2607.