Self-Reprogramming of Spermatogonial Stem Cells into Pluripotent Stem Cells without Microenvironment of Feeder Cells
Seung-Won Lee1,2, Guangming Wu3, Na Young Choi1,2, Hye Jeong Lee1,2, Jin Seok Bang1,2, Yukyeong Lee1,2, Minseong Lee1,2, Kisung Ko4, Hans R. Schöler3,5, and Kinarm Ko1,2,6,*
1Department of Stem Cell Biology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul 05029, Korea, 2Center for Stem Cell Research, Institute of Advanced Biomedical Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea,3Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany,4Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea, 5Medical Faculty, University of Münster, Münster, Germany,6The University Open-Innovation Center, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
*Correspondence: knko@kku.ac.kr
Received November 9, 2017; Revised May 10, 2018; Accepted June 25, 2018.; Published online July 10, 2018.
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ABSTRACT
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) derived from mouse testis are unipotent in regard of spermatogenesis. Our previous study demonstrated that SSCs can be fully reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells, so called germline-derived pluripotent stem cells (gPS cells), on feeder cells (mouse embryonic fibroblasts), which supports SSC proliferation and induction of pluripotency. Because of an uncontrollable microenvironment caused by interactions with feeder cells, feeder-based SSC reprogramming is not suitable for elucidation of the selfreprogramming mechanism by which SSCs are converted into pluripotent stem cells. Recently, we have established a Matrigel- based SSC expansion culture system that allows longterm SSC proliferation without mouse embryonic fibroblast support. In this study, we developed a new feeder-free SSC self-reprogramming protocol based on the Matrigel-based culture system. The gPS cells generated using a feeder-free reprogramming system showed pluripotency at the molecular and cellular levels. The differentiation potential of gPS cells was confirmed in vitro and in vivo. Our study shows for the first time that the induction of SSC pluripotency can be achieved without feeder cells. The newly developed feederfree self-reprogramming system could be a useful tool to reveal the mechanism by which unipotent cells are self reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells.
Keywords: germline-derived pluripotent stem cells, selfreprogramming, spermatogonial stem cells


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30 June 2018 Volume 41,
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