Pluripotent Reprogramming Vs Transdifferentiation
- Almost all factors that reprogram cells into pluripotency have been discovered and can turn a wide variety of cells back into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) . However, many of the reprogramming factors that can change a cell's lineage have not been discovered and these factors apply only for that specific lineage.
- The final products of transdifferentiated cells are capable of being used for clinical studies, but iPSCs must be differentiated.
- It may become possible in the future to use transdifferentiation in vivo where as pluripotent reprogramming may cause teratomas in vivo.
- Transdifferentiated cells will require less epigenetic marks to be reset where as pluripotent reprogramming requires nearly all to be removed, which may become an issue during redifferentiation.
- Transdifferentiation is geared towards moving between similar lineages where as pluripotent reprogramming has unlimited potential.
- Pluripotent cells are capable of self-renewal and often go through many cell passages, which increases the change of accumulating mutations. Cell culture may also favor cells that are adapted for surviving under those conditions, as opposed to inside an organism. Transdifferentiation requires fewer cell passages and would reduce the chance of mutations.
- Transdifferentiation can also be much more efficient than pluripotency reprogramming due to the extra step involved in the latter process.
- Both pluripotent and transdifferentiated cells use adult cells, thus starting cells are very accessible, whereas human embryonic stem cells require that one navigate legal loopholes and delve into the morality of stem cell research debate.
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