Pluripotent stem cells, both human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), can give rise to multiple cell types and hence have tremendous potential for regenerative therapies. However, the tumorigenic potential of these cells remains a great concern, as reflected in the formation of teratomas by transplanted pluripotent cells. In clinical practice, most pluripotent cells will be differentiated into useful therapeutic cell types such as neuronal, cardiac, or endothelial cells prior to human transplantation, drastically reducing their tumorigenic potential. Our work investigated the extent to which these differentiated stem cell derivatives are truly devoid of oncogenic potential. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression patterns from three sets of hiPSC- and hESC-derivatives and the corresponding primary cells, and compared their transcriptomes with those of five different types of cancer. Our analysis revealed a significant gene expression overlap of the hiPSC- and hESC-derivatives with cancer, whereas the corresponding primary cells showed minimum overlap. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis of a set of cancer-related genes (selected on the basis of rigorous functional and pathway analyses) confirmed our results. Overall, our findings suggested that pluripotent stem cell derivatives may still bear oncogenic properties even after differentiation, and additional stringent functional assays to purify these cells should be done before they can be used for regenerative therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4402
View details for Web of Science ID 000292763700029
View details for PubMedID 21646469
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3138859