Accumulation of instability in serial differentiation and reprogramming of parthenogenetic human cells

Rita Vassena, Nuria Montserrat, Beatriz Carrasco Canal, Begoña Aran, Lorena de Oñate, Anna Veiga, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Human leukocyte antigen-homozygous parthenogenetic stem cells (pSC) could provide a source of progenitors for regenerative medicine, lowering the need for immune suppression in patients. However, the high level of homozygosis and the lack of a paternal genome might pose a safety challenge for their therapeutic use, and no study so far has evaluated the spread and significance of gene expression changes across serial potency changes in these cells. We performed serial rounds of differentiation and reprogramming to assess pSC gene expression stability, likely of epigenetic source. We first derived pSC from activated MII oocytes, and differentiated them to parthenogenetic mesenchymal stem cells (pMSC). We then proceeded to induce pluripotency in pMSC by over expression of the four transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. pMSC-derived iPS (piPS) were further differentiated into secondary pMSC (pMSC-II). At every potency change, we characterized the obtained lines both molecularly and by functional differentiation, and performed an extensive genome-wide expression study by microarray analysis. Although overall gene expression of parthenogenetic cells resembled that of potency-matched biparental lines, significantly broader changes were brought about upon secondary differentiation of piPS to pMSC-II compared with matched biparental controls; our results highlight the effect of the interplay of epigenetic reprogramming on a monoparental background, as well as the importance of heterozygosis and biparental imprinting for stable epigenetic reprogramming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdds168
Pages (from-to)3366-3373
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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