Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share many biological properties with embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and are generated from somatic cells by expression of some transcription factors such as Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. Among these factors, the abundance of c-Myc is strictly regulated by Fbxw7, a subunit of Skp1-Cul1-F-box protein-type ubiquitin ligase. We have now shown that the expression of Fbxw7 was increased as ESCs differentiated. To investigate the role of Fbxw7 in the ESCs/iPSCs, we examined the impact of Fbxw7 ablation in the efficiency in iPSC generation. The frequency of iPSC generation from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking Fbxw7 was markedly greater than that from control MEFs. Depletion of Fbxw7 also resulted in promotion of iPSC generation. Morphology of iPSC clonies from Fbxw7-depleted MEFs appeared more undifferentiated than that from MEFs overexpressing c-Myc. Additional depletion of c-Myc did not abrogate the effect of Fbxw7 depletion, suggesting that c-Myc accumulation is not necessarily required for the increased efficiency in iPSC generation by Fbxw7 ablation. Substrates of Fbxw7 other than c-Myc might therefore play a key role in iPSC generation. These results suggest that transient inhibition of Fbxw7 would be a more promising approach to efficient generation of iPSCs than c-Myc over-expression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology