Efficient Method For Establishing Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

  *US09506039B2*
  US009506039B2                                 
(12)United States Patent(10)Patent No.: US 9,506,039 B2
 Yamanaka et al. (45) Date of Patent:Nov.  29, 2016

(54)Efficient method for establishing induced pluripotent stem cells 
    
(75)Inventors: Shinya Yamanaka,  Kyoto (JP); 
  Kazutoshi Takahashi,  Kyoto (JP); 
  Koji Tanabe,  Kyoto (JP) 
(73)Assignee:Kyoto University,  Kyoto (JP), Type: Foreign Company 
(*)Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days. 
(21)Appl. No.: 13/991,341 
(22)PCT Filed:Dec.  2, 2011 
(86)PCT No.: PCT/JP2011/077992 
 § 371 (c)(1), (2), (4) Date: Jun.  3, 2013  
(87)PCT Pub. No.:WO20/12/074117 
 PCT Pub. Date:Jun.  7, 2012 
(65)Prior Publication Data 
 US 2013/0267030 A1 Oct.  10, 2013 
 Related U.S. Patent Documents 
(60)Provisional application No. 61/419,320, filed on Dec.  3, 2010.
 
Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 5 0696 F I Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 15 85 L I Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 115 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 415 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 60 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 602 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 603 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 604 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 606 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2501 998 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2506 1307 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 12 N 2510 00 L A Nov.  29, 2016 US B H C
(51)Int. Cl. C12N 005/00 (20060101); C12N 005/02 (20060101); C12N 005/074 (20100101); C12N 015/85 (20060101)

 
(56)References Cited
 
 U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
 2009//0047263  A1  2/2009    Yamanaka et al.     
 2009//0068742  A1  3/2009    Yamanaka     
 2009//0093090  A1  4/2009    Ewe et al.     
 2009//0227032  A1  9/2009    Yamanaka et al.     
 2010//0093090  A1  4/2010    Deng et al.     
 2010//0216236  A1  8/2010    Yamanaka     
 2011//0117653  A1  5/2011    Enoki et al.     

 
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     * cited by examiner
 
     Primary Examiner —Valarie Bertoglio
     Art Unit — 1632
     Exemplary claim number — 1
 
(74)Attorney, Agent, or Firm — Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd.

(57)

Abstract

The invention provides a method of improving the efficiency of establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells by increasing, in a nuclear reprogramming step of somatic cell, the level of activated form of one or more proteins selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K. The invention also provides a method of producing induced pluripotent stem cells by contacting a somatic cell with a nuclear reprogramming substance and one or more of such proteins and nucleic acids that encode such proteins. The invention further provides an induced pluripotent stem cell that has an exogenous nucleic acid encoding such a protein, as well as agents for use in the aforesaid methods.
14 Claims, 10 Drawing Sheets, and 16 Figures


CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This patent application is the U.S. national phase of International Patent Application No. PCT/JP2011/077992, filed Dec. 2, 2011, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/419,320, filed on Dec. 3, 2010, which are incorporated by reference in their entireties herein.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL ELECTRONICALLY SUBMITTED

[0002] Incorporated by reference in its entirety herein is a computer-readable nucleotide/amino acid sequence listing submitted concurrently herewith and identified as follows: 242,371 bytes ASCII (Text) file named “713609SequenceListing.txt,” created Jun. 3, 2013.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0003] The present invention relates to a method of improving the efficiency of establishment of induced pluripotent stem (hereinafter sometimes referred to as iPS) cells and a reagent therefor. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method of improving the iPS cell establishment efficiency by using a member of the Ras family, and an agent for improving the iPS cell establishment efficiency, which comprises a member of the Ras family as an active ingredient.

BACKGROUND ART

[0004] In recent years, mouse and human iPS cells have been established one after another. Takahashi and Yamanaka (non-patent document 1) induced iPS cells by transferring the Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes into fibroblasts from a reporter mouse wherein the neomycin resistance gene is knocked-in into the Fbx15 locus, and forcing the cells to express the genes. Okita et al. (non-patent document 2) succeeded in establishing iPS cells (Nanog iPS cells) that show almost the same gene expression and epigenetic modification profiles as those of embryonic stem (ES) cells by creating a transgenic mouse having the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and puromycin-resistance genes integrated into the locus of Nanog, whose expression is more localized in pluripotent cells than the expression of Fbx15, forcing fibroblasts from the mouse to express the above-mentioned four genes, and selecting puromycin-resistant and GFP-positive cells. Thereafter, it was revealed that iPS cells could also be produced with three of the factors other than the c-Myc gene (non-patent document 3).
[0005] Furthermore, Takahashi et al. (non-patent document 4) succeeded in establishing iPS cells by transferring into human dermal fibroblasts the same four genes as those used in the mouse. On the other hand, Yu et al. (non-patent document 5) produced human iPS cells using Nanog and Lin28 in place of Klf4 and c-Myc. Hence, it has been demonstrated that iPS cells comparable to ES cells in terms of pluripotency can be produced in both humans and mice, by transferring defined factors into somatic cells.
[0006] However, the iPS cell establishment efficiency is still low and, especially, a problem of extremely low iPS cell establishment efficiency occurs when human iPS cell is produced by introducing 3 factors (Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4) excluding c-Myc, which is feared to cause tumorigenesis in tissues or individuals differentiated from iPS cells, into somatic cells.
[0007] Ras, which is a small GTPase, regulates growth and differentiation in many cells. Ras is generally present as an inactivated form bound with GDP. When stimulated by a growth factor and the like, it dissociates GDP, binds to GTP to turn into an activated form, and transmits signal to the downstream via a target factor. As Ras target factor, Raf, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3 kinase), Ral Guanine nucleotide Exchanging Factor (RalGEF) and the like are known. A constitutively activating point mutation of Ras has been reported in various human cancer cells, and therefore, functional collapse of Ras protein caused by abnormality in the downstream signaling by these target factors is assumed to be one of the important steps of cell canceration.
[0008] Takahashi et al. (non-patent document 6) identified a gene specifically expressed in embryonic stem cells (ES cells) and having a homology with other Ras genes and named it ERas. Although ERas shows only about 40% homology with other Ras as a whole, it highly conserves 5 guanine nucleotide-binding domains (G1-G5) essential for the function of Ras, and also has C-terminal Caax motif (C: cysteine, a: aliphatic amino acid, x: any amino acid) necessary for membrane localization.
[0009] However, the relationship between Ras family and reprogramming of somatic cell has not been sufficiently elucidated.

DOCUMENT LIST

Non-Patent Documents

[0010] non-patent document 1: Takahashi, K. and Yamanaka, S., Cell, 126: 663-676 (2006)
[0011] non-patent document 2: Okita, K. et al., Nature, 448: 313-317 (2007)
[0012] non-patent document 3: Nakagawa, M. et al., Nat. Biotethnol., 26: 101-106 (2008)
[0013] non-patent document 4: Takahashi, K. et al., Cell, 131: 861-872 (2007)
[0014] non-patent document 5: Yu, J. et al., Science, 318: 1917-1920 (2007)
[0015] non-patent document 6: Takahashi, K. et al., Nature, 423: 541-545 (2003)

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Problems to be Solved by the Invention

[0016] It is an object of the present invention to provide a means of improving the iPS cell establishment efficiency, and a method of efficiently producing iPS cells using the means.

Means of Solving the Problems

[0017] The present inventors have conducted intensive studies in an attempt to achieve the above-mentioned object, and clarified that the iPS cell establishment efficiency can be remarkably enhanced by increasing the level of the Ras family members in activated form, or target factors or related factors thereof (PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and activated molecule of S6K) in activated form during the nuclear reprogramming step of somatic cell. Moreover, they have clarified from experiments using various activated mutants that activation of signal transduction pathway via PI3 kinase (PI3 kinase pathway), signal transduction pathway via RalGEF (Ral pathway) and AKT pathway by Ras protein greatly contributes to the improvement of iPS cell establishment efficiency, which resulted in the completion of the present invention.
[0018] Accordingly, the present invention provides:
[0019] [1] A method of improving the efficiency of establishment of induced pluripotent stem cell, comprising the step of increasing the level of activated form of one or more proteins selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K in a nuclear reprogramming step of somatic cell.
[2] The method according to [1] above, comprising contacting one or more factors selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same with a somatic cell.
[3] The method according to [2] above, wherein the Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members and S6K are constitutively active forms.
[4] The method according to [2] or [3] above, wherein the Ras family members are selected from the group consisting of ERas, HRas, NRas and KRas.
[5] The method according to [3] or [4] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate one or more signal transduction pathways selected from PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway.
[6] The method according to [3] or [4] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[7] The method according to [3] above, wherein the PI3 kinase constitutively activates signal transduction pathway of AKT pathway.
[8] The method according to [2] or [3] above, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
[9] The method according to [3] or [8] above, wherein the AKT family members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
[10] The method according to [2] above, further comprising contacting one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same them with the somatic cell.
[11] An agent for improving the efficiency of establishment of induced pluripotent stem cell, comprising a factor selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same.
[12] The agent according to [11] above, wherein the Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members and S6K are constitutively active forms.
[13] The agent according to [11] or [12] above, wherein the Ras family members are selected from the group consisting of ERas, HRas, NRas and KRas.
[14] The agent according to [12] or [13] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate one or more signal transduction pathways selected from PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway.
[15] The agent according to [12] or [13] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[16] The agent according to [12] above, wherein the PI3 kinase constitutively activates signal transduction pathway of AKT pathway.
[17] The agent according to [11] or [12] above, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
[18] The agent according to [12] or [17] above, wherein the AKT members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
[19] The agent according to [11] above, further comprising one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same.
[20] A method of producing induced pluripotent stem cells, comprising contacting a somatic cell with nuclear reprogramming substance(s) and one or more factors selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same.
[21] The method according to [20] above, wherein the Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members and S6K are constitutively active forms.
[22] The method according to [20] or [21] above, wherein the Ras family members are selected from the group consisting of ERas, HRas, NRas and KRas.
[23] The method according to [21] or [22] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate one or more signal transduction pathways selected from PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway.
[24] The method according to [21] or [22] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[25] The method according to [21] above, wherein the PI3 kinase constitutively activates signal transduction pathway of AKT pathway.
[26] The method according to [20] or [21] above, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
[27] The method according to [21] or [26] above, wherein the AKT family members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
[28] The method according to [20] above, further comprising contacting one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same with the somatic cell.
[29] The method according to [20] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substance(s) is(are) selected from the group consisting of Oct family members, Sox family members, Klf4 family members, Myc family members, Lin family members and Nanog, as well as nucleic acids that encode the same.
[30] The method according to [20] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances are Oct3/4, Klf4 and Sox2, or nucleic acids that encode the same.
[31] The method according to [20] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances are Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, as well as c-Myc or L-Myc and/or Nanog and/or Lin28 or Lin28B, or nucleic acids that encode the same.
[32] An agent for inducing an induced pluripotent stem cell, comprising a factor selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same, as well as nuclear reprogramming substance(s).
[33] The agent according to [32] above, Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members and S6K are constitutively active forms.
[34] The agent according to [32] or [33] above, wherein the Ras family members are selected from the group consisting of ERas, HRas, NRas and KRas.
[35] The agent according to [33] or [34] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate one or more signal transduction pathways selected from PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway.
[36] The agent according to [33] or [34] above, wherein the Ras family members constitutively activate PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[37] The agent according to [32] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substance(s) is(are) selected from the group consisting of Oct family members, Sox family members, Klf4 family members, Myc family members, members of the Lin family and Nanog, and nucleic acids that encode the same.
[38] The agent according to [33] above, wherein the PI3 kinase constitutively activates signal transduction pathway of AKT pathway.
[39] The agent according to [32] or [33] above, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
[40] The agent according to [33] or [39] above, wherein the AKT family members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
[41] The agent according to [32] above, further comprising one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same.
[42] The agent according to [32] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances are Oct3/4, Klf4 and Sox2, or nucleic acids that encode the same.
[43] The agent according to [32] above, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substance(s) are Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2 as well as c-Myc or L-Myc and/or Nanog and/or Lin28 or Lin28B, or nucleic acids that encode the same.
[44] An induced pluripotent stem cell, comprising an exogeneous nucleic acid encoding Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 or S6K.
[45] The cell according to [44] above, wherein the aforementioned exogenous nucleic acid is integrated in the genome.
[46] A method of producing a somatic cell, comprising the steps of:
(1) producing an induced pluripotent stem cell by the method according to any of [20] to [31] above, and
(2) performing a differentiation induction treatment on the iPS cell obtained through the step (1) to cause the induced pluripotent stem cell to differentiate into a somatic cell.
[47] A use of one or more factors selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same for improving the iPS cell establishment efficiency.
[48] A use of one or more factors selected from the group consisting of Ras family members, PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 and S6K, and nucleic acids that encode the same, for producing an iPS cell, wherein the factor(s) is(are) contacted with a somatic cell along with nuclear reprogramming substance(s).
[49] A use of the induced pluripotent stem cell according to
[44] or [45] above in producing a somatic cell.
[50] The induced pluripotent stem cell according to [44] or
[45] above, as a cell source in producing a somatic cell.

Effect of the Invention

[0020] The iPS cell establishment efficiency can be remarkably enhanced by increasing the level of activated molecules of the Ras family members, target factors thereof (PI3 kinase, RalGEF or Raf), or related factors thereof (AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 or S6K) during nuclear reprogramming, which is particularly useful in the induction of iPS cells by means of 3 factors except c-Myc that has conventionally showed low establishment efficiency.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 1, wherein the vertical axis shows fold change of the number of iPS colonies when the number of colonies obtained by 4 transgenes of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc is 1 (Red in the Figure), and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0022] FIG. 2 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 2, wherein the vertical axis shows fold change of the number of iPS colonies when the number of colonies obtained by 4 transgenes of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc is 1 (Red in the Figure), and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0023] FIG. 3 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 3, wherein the left Figure shows the results using Tig-120 cells, and the right Figure shows the results using 1616 cells. In the Figure, the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0024] FIG. 4 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 4, wherein the vertical axis shows fold change of the number of iPS colonies when the number of colonies obtained by 4 transgenes of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc is 1 (Red in the Figure), and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0025] FIG. 5 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 5, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0026] FIG. 6 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 6, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0027] FIG. 7 shows alkaline phosphatase stain images of iPS cell colonies showing the results of Example 7, wherein each value shows the number of the iPS cell colonies.
[0028] FIG. 8 shows graphs presenting the results of Example 8. In FIG. 8A, the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies. The horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes with the 2-fold amounts of and Mock; Mock and Myr-AKT1; Mock and c-MYC shRNA; Myr-AKT1 and c-MYC shRNA; or Myr-AKT1 and GSK3βS9A. In FIG. 8B, the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0029] FIG. 9 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 9, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0030] FIG. 10 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 10, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis.
[0031] FIG. 11 shows a graph and photographs presenting the results of Example 11. In FIG. 11A, the vertical axis indicates the number of the iPS cell colonies, and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis, in the presence or absence of c-Myc shRNA. FIG. 11B shows the measurement results by Western blotting of the intracellular expression of the proteins of c-Myc, p-AKT (phosphorylated AKT), AKT, p-S6K1 (phosphorylated S6K1), S6K1, p-TSC2 (phosphorylated TSC2) and TSC2, when Mock, Myr-AKT1, Rheb, S6K1 T389E or p53 shRNA were each introduced into the human dermal fibroblast.
[0032] FIG. 12 shows a graph presenting the results of Example 12. FIG. 12A shows the results of introduction into human dermal fibroblast, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis, in the presence or absence of p53 shRNA. FIG. 12B shows the results of introduction into human dermal fibroblast, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of iPS cell colonies and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis, in the presence or absence of GLIS1. FIG. 12C shows the results of introduction into human dental pulp cell, wherein the vertical axis indicates the number of the iPS cell colonies and the horizontal axis shows combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis, in the presence or absence of p53 shRNA, as well as combinations of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes and respective genes shown in the horizontal axis, in the presence or absence of GLIS1.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0033] The present invention provides a method of improving efficiency of iPS cell establishment, comprising increasing the intracellular level of a Ras protein in activated form, an activated form of the target factor thereof, an activated form of a signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor or an activator of the signaling, in a nuclear reprogramming step of somatic cell. While the means of increasing the intracellular level of a Ras protein in activated form, an activated form of target factor thereof, an activated form of a signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor or an activator of the signal is not particularly limited, for example, a method including contacting a Ras family member protein, a target factor thereof (PI3 kinase, RalGEF or Raf), a signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor or an activator of the signaling (AKT family member, Rheb, TCL1 or S6K), or nucleic acids encoding them, or a substance that promotes conversion reaction of Ras protein into an activated form or a substance that inhibits conversion reaction of Ras protein into an inactivated form, with a somatic cell, and the like can be mentioned.
[0034] While nuclear reprogramming of a somatic cell is achieved by transferring a nuclear reprogramming substance to the somatic cell, the present invention also provides a method of producing an iPS cell by contacting the above-mentioned substance with a nuclear reprogramming substance to a somatic cell. In the present specification, cases where iPS cells cannot be established by using a nuclear reprogramming substance alone, but can be established by increasing the level of a Ras protein in activated form and the like, are also deemed as corresponding to “an improvement of establishment efficiency.”

(a) Sources of Somatic Cells

[0035] In the present invention, any cells other than germ cells of mammalian origin (e.g., humans, mice, monkeys, bovines, pigs, rats, dogs etc.) can be used as starting material for the production of iPS cells. Examples include keratinizing epithelial cells (e.g., keratinized epidermal cells), mucosal epithelial cells (e.g., epithelial cells of the superficial layer of tongue), exocrine gland epithelial cells (e.g., mammary gland cells), hormone-secreting cells (e.g., adrenomedullary cells), cells for metabolism or storage (e.g., liver cells), intimal epithelial cells constituting interfaces (e.g., type I alveolar cells), intimal epithelial cells of the obturator canal (e.g., vascular endothelial cells), cells having cilia with transporting capability (e.g., airway epithelial cells), cells for extracellular matrix secretion (e.g., fibroblasts), constrictive cells (e.g., smooth muscle cells), cells of the blood and the immune system (e.g., T lymphocytes), sense-related cells (e.g., bacillary cells), autonomic nervous system neurons (e.g., cholinergic neurons), sustentacular cells of sensory organs and peripheral neurons (e.g., satellite cells), nerve cells and glia cells of the central nervous system (e.g., astroglia cells), pigment cells (e.g., retinal pigment epithelial cells), progenitor cells (tissue progenitor cells) thereof and the like. There is no limitation on the degree of cell differentiation, the age of an animal from which cells are collected and the like; even undifferentiated progenitor cells (including somatic stem cells) and finally differentiated mature cells can be used alike as sources of somatic cells in the present invention. Examples of undifferentiated progenitor cells include tissue stem cells (somatic stem cells) such as neural stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and dental pulp stem cells.
[0036] The choice of mammal individual as a source of somatic cells is not particularly limited; however, when the iPS cells obtained are to be used for regenerative medicine in humans, it is particularly preferable, from the viewpoint of prevention of graft rejection, to collect the somatic cells from a patient or another person with the same or substantially the same HLA gene type as that of the patient. “Substantially the same HLA type” as used herein means that the HLA gene type of donor matches with that of patient to the extent that the transplanted cells, which have been obtained by inducing differentiation of iPS cells derived from the donor's somatic cells, can be engrafted when they are transplanted to the patient with use of immunosuppressant and the like. For example, it includes an HLA gene type wherein major HLAs (e.g., the three major loci of HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-DR, the four loci further including HLA-C) are completely identical (hereinafter the same meaning shall apply) and the like. When the iPS cells obtained are not to be administered (transplanted) to a human, but used as, for example, a source of cells for screening for evaluating a patient's drug susceptibility or adverse reactions, it is likewise desired to collect the somatic cells from the patient or another person with the same genetic polymorphism correlating with the drug susceptibility or adverse reactions.
[0037] Somatic cells isolated from a mammal can be pre-cultured using a medium known per se suitable for their cultivation according to the choice of cells before being subjected to the nuclear reprogramming step. Examples of such media include, but are not limited to, minimal essential medium (MEM) containing about 5 to 20% fetal bovine serum (FCS), Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (DMEM), RPMI1640 medium, 199 medium, F12 medium, and the like. When a transfer reagent such as cationic liposome, for example, is used in bringing the somatic cell into contact with nuclear reprogramming substances and a substance that increases the level of a Ras protein in activated form (and another iPS cell establishment efficiency improver if required), it is sometimes preferable that the medium have been replaced with a serum-free medium so as to prevent the transfer efficiency from decreasing.

(b) Substance that Increases Level of Ras Protein, Activated Molecule of Target Factor Thereof, Signaling Factor Downstream of Ras Target Factor or Activator of the Signaling

[0038] In the present specification, the “substance that increases the level of Ras protein in activated form” may be any substance as long as it can increase the level of protein present as an activated form (GTP-bound form) of one or more proteins belonging to Ras family. That is, Ras protein per se or a nucleic acid per se encoding same, as well as a substance that eventually increases the level of Ras protein in an activated form by promoting a reaction to convert Ras protein from an inactivated form (GDP-bound form) to an activated form (GDP-GTP exchange reaction), or inhibiting a reaction to convert Ras protein from an activated form to an inactivated form (GTP hydrolysis), are included in the “substance that increases the level of Ras protein in activated form” in the present specification.
[0039] In the present specification, the “substance that increases level of activated form of Ras protein target factor” may be any substance as long as it can increase the intracellular level of an activated form of one or more factors, preferably 1 or 2 factors, of the three target factors of Ras protein, PI3 kinase, RalGEF and Raf, more preferably PI3 kinase and/or RalGEF. That is, PI3 kinase, RalGEF or Raf per se or a nucleic acid per se encoding the same, as well as a localization factor that recruits such target factors in the cell into the plasma membrane such as Ras protein in activated form, are included in the “substance that increases level of activated form of Ras protein target factor” in the present specification.
[0040] In the present specification, the “substance that increases level of signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor or activator of the signaling” may be any substance as long as it can increase the intracellular level of a signaling factor downstream of Ras protein target factor or an activator of the signaling (i.e., AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 or S6K, preferably an activated form of AKT family members, an activated form of Rheb, TCL1 or S6K). That is, AKT family members, Rheb, TCL1 or S6K per se or a nucleic acid per se encoding the same, as well as a localization factor that recruits intracellular AKT family members into the plasma membrane such as PI3 kinase in activated form, are included in the “substance that increases level of Ras protein-related factors in activated form” in the present specification.
[0041] In the following, substances that increase the level of activated molecule of Ras protein, target factor thereof or a signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, as well as an activator of the signalin, are sometimes collectively referred to as “the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention”.

(b1) Ras Family Members

[0042] The “Ras family members” in the present specification means a protein from the Ras subfamily proteins characterized by homology of the primary structure with HRas, KRas, NRas identified as proto-oncogenes, which protein targets one or more molecules selected from Raf, PI3 kinase and RalGEF, preferably PI3 kinase and/or RalGEF, and can activate signal transduction pathway at the downstream of the above-mentioned target factors (i.e., Raf/MAP kinase pathway (MAP kinase pathway), PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway), by the action of activated form of the Ras protein. Preferable examples of the Ras family members include, but are not limited to, HRas, KRas; NRas, ERas and the like.
[0043] Preferable examples of the HRas protein include mouse HRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_032310), human HRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:4 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001123914), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While HRas homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous HRas can also be used.
[0044] Preferable examples of the KRas protein include mouse KRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:6 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_067259), human KRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:8 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_203524), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants, natural and artificial activated mutants and the like. While KRas homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous KRas can also be used.
[0045] Preferable examples of the NRas protein include mouse NRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:10 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_035067), human NRas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:12 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_002515), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants, natural and artificial activated mutants and the like. While NRas homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous NRas can also be used.
[0046] Preferable examples of the ERas protein include mouse ERas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:14 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_853526), human ERas consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:16 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_853510), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, and the like. While ERas homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous ERas can also be used.
[0047] The homology of the amino acid sequences of Ras protein can be calculated using the blastp program of homology calculation algorithm NCBI BLAST (National Center for Biotechnology Information Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) and under the following conditions (expect threshold-10; accept gap; matrix=BLOSUM62; filtering=OFF). Under the above-mentioned conditions, human HRas and mouse HRas show 100% amino acid identity, human KRas and mouse KRas show about 89% amino acid identity, and human NRas and mouse NRas show about 99% amino acid identity. The region of 164 amino acids from the N-terminus of Ras protein is extremely highly conserved and, in this region, human KRas and mouse KRas show about 98% amino acid identity, and human NRas and mouse NRas show 100% amino acid identity. In this region, moreover, the amino acid identity of human HRas and human KRas is about 95%, and the amino acid identity of human HRas and human NRas is about 92%. In said region, 5 domains (G1-G5) relating to the binding with guanine nucleotide, and the effector domain relating to the binding with target factor are particularly well conserved. Furthermore, of the C-terminal sequences rich in diversity, 4 amino acid residues at the C-terminal are called Caax motif (C: cysteine, a: aliphatic amino acid, x: any amino acid; SEQ ID NO:17) and highly conserved. They are subject to post-translational modification, whereby farnesyl group is added to the cysteine residue, and successive cleavage of terminal 3 amino acids, and methyl esterification of newly exposed C-terminal cysteine. Ras protein is strongly bonded to the inner surface of plasma membrane by such lipid modification.
[0048] Many of the Ras proteins such as HRas, KRas, NRas and the like are generally present as a GDP-bound inactivated form, and converted to a GTP-bound activated form on receipt of a signal from the upstream. Constitutively active Ras mutant has been isolated from various carcinomas, and a number of amino acid substitutions contributing to constitutive activation have been reported. The level of Ras protein in activated form can be efficiently increased by introducing a constitutively active mutant of such Ras protein into a somatic cell. For example, a mutant wherein 12th glycine of H-, K- and N-Ras is substituted by valine is a constitutively active mutant that activates all 3 signal transduction pathways (PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway, MAP kinase pathway) at the downstream of Ras. A double mutant wherein 35th threonine is substituted by serine, a double mutant wherein 37th glutamic acid is substituted by glycine and a double mutant wherein 40th tyrosine is substituted by cysteine, each in addition to the above-mentioned mutation, are constitutively active mutants that selectively activate MAP kinase pathway, Ral pathway and PI3 kinase pathway, respectively.
[0049] While human and mouse ERas have about 40% homology with HRas over entire protein, G1-G5 and effector domain essential for the function of Ras, and Caax motif necessary for membrane localization are conserved. When even only one of 12th glycine of H-, K- and N-Ras, 59th alanine and 63rd glutamic acid is substituted by other amino acid, a constitutively active form is produced. It is known that in human Eras, 2 of the 3 amino acids are different from other Ras, and in mouse Eras, all the 3 amino acids different from other Ras, and PI3 kinase pathway from the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras is constitutively activated.
[0050] The constitutively active Ras protein to be used in the present invention is not particularly limited as long as it can constitutively activate at least one of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras (PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway, MAP kinase pathway). It preferably constitutively activates 1 or 2 signal transduction pathways from PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway, more preferably PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway. Specific examples of the Ras protein that constitutively activates PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway include, but are not limited to, ERas, a double mutant wherein 12th glycine of H-, K- or N-Ras is substituted by valine, and 37th glutamic acid is substituted by glycine or 40th tyrosine is substituted by cysteine and the like.
[0051] The Ras protein to be used in the present invention may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence which is the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned Ras proteins wherein 1 or more, preferably 1-20, more preferably 1-10, still more preferably 1-several (5, 4, 3, 2), amino acids are substituted, deleted, inserted or added, as long as any of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras is not constitutively inactivated, preferably none of PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway is constitutively inactivated. Alternatively, it may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence having identity of not less than 80%, preferably not less than 90%, more preferably not less than 95%, still more preferably not less than 97%, particularly preferably not less than 98%, with the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned Ras proteins. Preferred is a protein that conserves Caax motif necessary for membrane localization, and G1 (10-17th amino acids), G2 (32-36th amino acids), G3 (57-60th amino acids), G4 (116-119th amino acids), G5 (145-147th amino acids) domain, and effector domain (26-45th amino acids) essential for the function of Ras, or a protein that is mutated to provide constitutively activation.

(b2) Ras Target Factor (Effector)

[0052] As the “Ras target factor (effector)” to be used in the present invention, PI3 kinase, RalGEF and Raf can be mentioned.
[0053] PI3 kinase in the present invention is a class IA PI3 kinase to be the target factor of Ras, which consists of p110 catalytic subunit (3 isoforms of α, β and δ) and regulatory subunit (p85α, p85β, p55γ and splicing variants thereof). Of these, p110 having a domain relating to the binding with Ras and a kinase domain that catalyzes the phosphorylation reaction from phosphatidylinositol-4,5-diphosphoric acid (PIP2) to phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphoric acid (PIP3) can be preferably used as an establishment efficiency improving factor in the present invention.
[0054] Preferable examples of p110 protein include mouse p110α consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:19 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_032865), human p110α consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:21 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_006209), mouse p110β (RefSeq Accession No. NP_083370), human p110β (RefSeq Accession No. NP_006210), mouse p110δ (RefSeq Accession No. NP_0010250058), human p110δ (RefSeq Accession No. NP_005017), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While p110 homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous p110 can also be used.
[0055] Preferable examples of RalGEF protein include mouse RalGDS consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:23 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_033084), human RalGDS consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:25 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_006266), mouse Rgl (RefSeq Accession No. NP_058542), human Rgl (RefSeq Accession No. NP_055964), mouse Rlf/Rgl2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_033085), human Rlf/Rgl2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_004752), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While RalGEF homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous RalGEF can also be used.
[0056] Preferable examples of Raf protein include mouse c-Raf consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:27 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_084056), human c-Raf consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:29 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_002871), mouse A-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NP_033833), human A-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001645), mouse B-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NP_647455), human B-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NP_004324), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While Raf homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous Raf can also be used.
[0057] Ras target factors such as PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf and the like are activated by being localized on the inner surface of the plasma membrane via binding to activated Ras, and activates signal transduction pathway in the downstream. Therefore, the level of activated Ras target factor can be efficiently increased by introducing constitutively active mutants of these target factors into somatic cells. For example, since Ras target factor is activated by being localized on the membrane, a constitutively active mutant of the target factor can be produced by adding a membrane localization signal sequence to the N-terminal or C-terminal of the target factor. For example, a membrane-localized constitutively active mutant can be obtained by adding a myristoylation signal sequence (e.g., c-Src-derived myristoylation signal sequence (MGSSKSKPKDPSQRRRRIRT; SEQ ID NO:30)) to the N-terminal of the target factor (e.g., Myr-PI3K of Example 3 etc.), or adding Caax motif to the C-terminal (e.g., PI3K-CaaX of Example 3, RalGDS-Caax and Raf-CaaX of Example 4, etc.). Examples of other constitutively active mutant include, but are not limited to, PI3 kinase mutant wherein 1047th histidine of p110α is substituted by arginine, PI3 kinase mutant wherein 545th glutamic acid of p110α is substituted by lysine, PI3 kinase mutant wherein 227th lysine of p110α is substituted by glutamic acid, PI3 kinase mutant wherein 108 amino acids at the N-terminus (regulatory subunit binding domain) of p110 are deleted, Raf mutant wherein 305 amino acids at the N-terminus (including Ras binding domain) of c-Raf are deleted, Raf mutant wherein 600th valine of B-Raf is substituted by glutamic acid, Raf mutant wherein 340th tyrosine of c-Raf is substituted by aspartic acid and the like.
[0058] The Ras target factor in constitutively active form to be used in the present invention is preferably a constitutively active mutant of PI3 kinase (p110) or RalGEF, which is specifically exemplified by Myr-PI3K, PI3K-CaaX, RalGDS-CaaX and the like used in the Examples to be described below.
[0059] PI3 kinase in constitutively active form to be used in the present invention constitutively activates the signal transduction pathway of AKT pathway.
[0060] The Ras target factor to be used in the present invention may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence which is the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned Ras target factor wherein 1 or more, preferably 1-20, more preferably 1-10, still more preferably 1-several (5, 4, 3, 2), amino acids are substituted, deleted, inserted or added, as long as the signal transduction pathway at the downstream of the target factor is not constitutively inactivated. Alternatively, it may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence having identity of not less than 80%, preferably not less than 90%, more preferably not less than 95%, still more preferably not less than 97%, particularly preferably not less than 98%, with the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned Ras proteins.

(b3) Signaling Factor Downstream of Ras Target Factor (Effector) and Activator of the Signaling

[0061] Examples of the “signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor (effector)” to be used in the present invention” include AKT family members, Rheb and S6K, and examples of the “activator of signaling downstream of Ras target factor (effector)” include TCL1.
[0062] The “AKT family member” in the present specification is a protein identified as a gene homologous to viral oncogene v-Akt, and capable of transmitting the signal for activation of mTOR at the downstream thereof. Preferable examples of AKT family members include, but are not limited to, AKT1, AKT2, AKT3 and the like. Preferable examples of AKT protein include mouse Akt1 consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:35 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001159366), human AKT1 consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:37 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001014432), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof (e.g., RefSeq Accession No. NP_033782, RefSeq Accession No. NP_001014431, RefSeq Accession No. NP_005154 and the like), natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While AKT family members homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target are desirably used, heterologous AKT family members can also be used.
[0063] Preferable examples of Rheb protein include mouse Rheb consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:39 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_444305), human RHEB consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:41 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_005605), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While Rheb homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous Rheb can also be used.
[0064] Preferable examples of TCL1 protein include mouse Toil consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:43 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_033363), human TCL1A consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:45 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001092195), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof (e.g., RefSeq Accession No. NP_068801 and the like), natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While TCL1 homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous TCL1 can also be used.
[0065] Preferable examples of S6K protein include S6K consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:47 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_001107806), human S6K1 consisting of the amino acid sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:49 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_003152), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof (e.g., RefSeq Accession No. NP_082535 and the like), natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While S6K homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous S6K can also be used.
[0066] AKT family members are activated by being localized on the inner surface of the plasma membrane via binding to activated Ras, PI3 kinase etc., and activates signal transduction pathway in the downstream. Therefore, the level of downstream signaling factor can be efficiently increased by introducing constitutively active mutants of AKT family members into somatic cells. For example, since AKT family member is activated by being localized on the membrane, a constitutively active mutant of the target factor can be produced by adding a membrane localization signal sequence to the N-terminal or C-terminal of the target factor. For example, a membrane-localized constitutively active mutant can be obtained by adding a myristoylation signal sequence (e.g., c-Src-derived myristoylation signal sequence (MGSSKSKPKDPSQRRRRIRT; SEQ ID NO:30)) to the N-terminal of the target factor (e.g., Myr-AKT1 of Example 8 etc.). Examples of other constitutively active mutant include, but are not limited to, AKT1 mutant wherein 40th glutamic acid of AKT1 is substituted by lysin (E40K-AKT1), AKT1 mutant wherein 17th glutamic acid of AKT 1 is substituted by lysine (E17K-AKT1) and the like.
[0067] S6K protein is generally converted to an activated form by phosphorylation of 389th threonine, and has been reported to be constitutively activated by converting the 389th to glutamic acid. The level of S6K protein in activated form can be efficiently increased by introducing such constitutively active mutant of S6K protein into a somatic cell.
[0068] The signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor (effector) and activator of the signaling to be used in the present invention may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence which is the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor (effector) and activator of the signaling wherein 1 or more, preferably 1-20, more preferably 1-10, still more preferably 1-several (5, 4, 3, 2), amino acids are substituted, deleted, inserted or added, as long as the signal transduction pathway at the downstream of the target factor is not constitutively inactivated. Alternatively, it may be a protein containing an amino acid sequence having identity of not less than 80%, preferably not less than 90%, more preferably not less than 95%, still more preferably not less than 97%, particularly preferably not less than 98%, with the amino acid sequence of any of the above-mentioned AKT family members, Rheb, S6K and TCL1 protein.
[0069] The signaling factor downstream of the target factor (effector) of Ras in constitutively active form to be used in the present invention and the activator of the signaling are preferably constitutively active mutants of AKT family members or S6K. Specific examples thereof includes Myr-AKT1, Myr-AKT2, Myr-AKT3, S6K1 T389E and the like used in the Examples described later.

(b4) Ras Activator

[0070] When receptor tyrosine kinase is activated by stimulation with an extracellular signal such as growth factor and the like, autophosphorylation occurs, and RasGEF (Sos, RasGRF, RasGRF2, RasGRP, SmgGDS, Vav, C3G and the like) is recruited to the plasma membrane via an adapter protein that recognizes the autophosphorylated molecule such as Grb2, Shc and the like, whereby Ras protein localized in the plasma membrane is activated. Therefore, the iPS cell establishment efficiency can also be improved via activation of Ras protein by introduction of RasGEF and adapter protein into somatic cells.
[0071] Preferable examples of Sos protein include mouse Sos1 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_033257), human Sos1 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_005624), mouse Sos2 (RefSeq Accession No. XP 127051), human Sos2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_008870), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While Sos homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous Sos can also be used. Examples of the artificial activated mutant include membrane localized mutant wherein Caax motif is added to the aforementioned C-terminal or myristoylation signal is added to the N-terminal.
[0072] The amino acid sequences of other RasGEF proteins such as RasGRF, RasGRF2, RasGRP, SmgGDS, Vav, C3G and the like are known, and polymorphic variants and splicing variants thereof are also known. Examples of the activated mutant of these proteins include membrane localized mutant wherein Caax motif is added to the aforementioned C-terminal or myristoylation signal is added to the N-terminal.
[0073] Preferable examples of Grb2 protein include mouse Grb2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_032189), human Grb2 (RefSeq Accession No. NP_002077), orthologs thereof in other mammals, natural allelic variants and polymorphic variants thereof, splicing variants thereof, natural and artificial activated mutants thereof and the like. While Grb2 homologous to the animal species of the somatic cell to be the introduction target is desirably used, heterologous Grb2 can also be used. Examples of the artificial activated mutant include membrane localized mutant wherein Caax motif is added to the aforementioned C-terminal or myristoylation signal is added to the N-terminal.
[0074] The proteins of (b1)-(b4) (sometimes to be referred to as “proteinous establishment efficiency improving factors of the present invention”) may be isolated from, for example, a cell or tissue [e.g., cells and tissues of thymus, bone marrow, spleen, brain, spinal cord, heart, skeletal muscle, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or prostate, progenitor cells, stem cells or cancer cells of these cells, and the like] of a human or another mammal (e.g., mouse, rat, monkey, pig, dog and the like) by a protein separation and purification technique known per se. Preferably, it is prepared as a recombinant protein by cloning cDNA from the above-mentioned cell or tissue by a conventional method and expressing same in a suitable host cell. The above-mentioned various activated mutants can be produced by introduction of point mutation or addition of a membrane localization signal sequence to the terminus by a gene recombination technique known per se.
[0075] Transfer of the proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention to a somatic cell can be achieved using a method known per se for protein transfer into a cell. Such methods include, for example, the method using a protein transfer reagent, the method using a protein transfer domain (PTD)—or cell penetrating peptide (CPP)—fusion protein, the microinjection method and the like. Protein transfer reagents are commercially available, including those based on a cationic lipid, such as BioPOTER Protein Delivery Reagent (Gene Therapy Systems), Pro-Ject™ Protein Transfection Reagent (PIERCE) and ProVectin (IMGENEX); those based on a lipid, such as Profect-1 (Targeting Systems); those based on a membrane-permeable peptide, such as Penetrain Peptide (Q biogene) and Chariot Kit (Active Motif), GenomONE (ISHIHARA SANGYO KAISHA, LTD.) utilizing HVJ envelope (inactive hemagglutinating virus of Japan) and the like. The transfer can be achieved per the protocols attached to these reagents, a common procedure being as described below. The proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention is diluted in an appropriate solvent (e.g., a buffer solution such as PBS or HEPES), a transfer reagent is added, the mixture is incubated at room temperature for about 5 to 15 minutes to form a complex, this complex is added to cells after exchanging the medium with a serum-free medium, and the cells are incubated at 37° C. for one to several hours. Thereafter, the medium is removed and replaced with a serum-containing medium.
[0076] Developed PTDs include those using transcellular domains of proteins such as drosophila-derived AntP, HIV-derived TAT (Frankel, A. et al, Cell 55, 1189-93 (1988) or Green, M. & Loewenstein, P. M. Cell 55, 1179-88 (1988)), Penetratin (Derossi, D. et al, J. Biol. Chem. 269, 10444-50 (1994)), Buforin II (Park, C. B. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 8245-50 (2000)), Transportan (Pooga, M. et al. FASEB J. 12, 67-77 (1998)), MAP (model amphipathic peptide) (Oehlke, J. et al. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1414, 127-39 (1998)), K-FGF (Lin, Y. Z. et al. J. Biol. Chem. 270, 14255-14258 (1995)), Ku70 (Sawada, M. et al. Nature Cell Biol. 5, 352-7 (2003)), Prion (Lundberg, P. et al. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 299, 85-90 (2002)), pVEC (Elmquist, A. et al. Exp. Cell Res. 269, 237-44 (2001)), Pep-1 (Morris, M. C. et al. Nature Biotechnol. 19, 1173-6 (2001)), Pep-7 (Gao, C. et al. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 10, 4057-65 (2002)), SynBl (Rousselle, C. et al. Mol. Pharmacol. 57, 679-86 (2000)), HN-I (Hong, F. D. & Clayman, G L. Cancer Res. 60, 6551-6 (2000)), and HSV-derived VP22. CPPs derived from the PTDs include polyarginines such as 11R (Cell Stem Cell, 4, 381-384 (2009)) and 9R (Cell Stem Cell, 4, 472-476 (2009)).
[0077] A fused protein expression vector incorporating cDNA encoding the proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention and PTD sequence or CPP sequence is prepared, and recombination expression is performed using the vector. The fused protein is recovered and used for transfer. Transfer can be performed in the same manner as above except that a protein transfer reagent is not added.
[0078] Microinjection, a method of placing a protein solution in a glass needle having a tip diameter of about 1 μm, and injecting the solution into a cell, ensures the transfer of the protein into the cell.
[0079] Other useful methods of protein transfer include the electroporation method, the semi-intact cell method [Kano, F. et al. Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 322, 357-365 (2006)], and transfer using the Wr-t peptide [Kondo, E. et al., Mol. Cancer Ther. 3(12), 1623-1630 (2004)] and the like.
[0080] The protein transferring operation can be performed one or more optionally chosen times (e.g., once or more to 10 times or less, or once or more to 5 times or less and the like). Preferably, the transferring operation can be performed twice or more (e.g., 3 times or 4 times) repeatedly. The time interval for repeated transferring operation is, for example, 6 to 48 hours, preferably 12 to 24 hours.

(b5) Nucleic Acid Encoding the Proteinous Establishment Efficiency Improving Factor of the Present Invention

[0081] The nucleic acid encoding the proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention (Ras family members, Ras target factor (effector), signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor (effector), activator of the signaling and Ras activator) (sometimes to be referred to as “the nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention”) is not particularly limited as long as it encodes the above-mentioned Ras family members (e.g., HRas, KRas, NRas, ERas etc.), Ras target factor (effector) (e.g., PI3 kinase, RalGEF, Raf etc.), signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor (effector) (e.g., AKT1, AKT2, AKT3, Rheb, S6K etc.), activator of the signaling downstream of Ras target factor (effector) (e.g., TCL1 etc.) or Ras activator (e.g., RasGEF, receptor tyrosine kinase adapter protein etc.) in the present invention. The nucleic acid may be a DNA or an RNA, or a DNA/RNA chimera, with preference given to a DNA. The nucleic acid may be double-stranded or single-stranded. In the case of double strands, the nucleic acid may be a double-stranded DNA, a double-stranded RNA or a DNA:RNA hybrid.
[0082] The nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention can be cloned from a cDNA derived from a cell or tissue [e.g., cells and tissues of thymus, bone marrow, spleen, brain, spinal cord, heart, skeletal muscle, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or prostate, progenitor cells, stem cells or cancer cells of these cells, and the like] of a human or another mammal (e.g., mice, rats, monkeys, pigs, dogs and the like) by a conventional method.
[0083] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding HRas include a nucleic acid comprising the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:1 or 3, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:1 or 3 under stringent conditions, and encoding a protein capable of activating at least one of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras, preferably PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[0084] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding KRas include a nucleic acid comprising the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:5 or 7, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:5 or 7 under stringent conditions, and encoding a protein capable of activating at least one of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras, preferably PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[0085] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding NRas include a nucleic acid comprising the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:9 or 11, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:9 or 11 under stringent conditions, and encoding a protein capable of activating at least one of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras, preferably PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[0086] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding ERas include a nucleic acid comprising the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:13 or 15, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:13 or 15 under stringent conditions, and encoding a protein capable of activating at least one of the 3 signal transduction pathways at the downstream of Ras, preferably PI3 kinase pathway and/or Ral pathway.
[0087] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding catalytic subunit (p110) of PI3 kinase include a nucleic acid encoding p110α containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:18 or 20, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:18 or 20 under stringent conditions, and encoding a protein capable of activating PI3 kinase pathway. Alternatively, a nucleic acid containing the cDNA sequence of mouse p110β (RefSeq Accession No. NM_029094), human p110β (RefSeq Accession No. NM_006219), mouse p110δ (RefSeq Accession No. NM_001029837), human p110δ (RefSeq Accession No. NM_005026), and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the cDNA sequence and encoding a protein capable of activating PI3 kinase pathway can be mentioned.
[0088] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding RalGEF include a nucleic acid encoding RalGDS containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:22 or 24, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:22 or 24 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating Ral pathway. Alternatively, a nucleic acid containing the cDNA sequence of mouse Rgl (RefSeq Accession No. NM_016846), human Rgl (RefSeq Accession No. NM_015149), mouse Rlf/Rgl2 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_009059), human Rlf/Rgl2 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_004761), and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the cDNA sequence and encoding a protein capable of activating Ral pathway can be mentioned.
[0089] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding RalGEF include a nucleic acid encoding c-Raf containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:26 or 28, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:26 or 28 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating MAP kinase pathway. Alternatively, a nucleic acid containing the cDNA sequence of mouse A-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NM_009703), human A-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NM_001654), mouse B-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NM_139294), human B-Raf (RefSeq Accession No. NM_004333), and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the cDNA sequence and encoding a protein capable of activating MAP kinase pathway can be mentioned.
[0090] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding Sos include a nucleic acid containing the cDNA sequence of mouse Sos1 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_009231), human Sos1 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_005633), mouse Sos2 (RefSeq Accession No. XM_127051), human Sos2 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_006939), and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the cDNA sequence and encoding a protein capable of activating Ras protein.
[0091] The cDNA sequences of other RasGEF proteins such as RasGRF, RasGRF2, RasGRP, SmgGDS, Vav, C3G and the like are known, and polymorphic variants and splicing variants thereof are also known.
[0092] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding Grb2 include a nucleic acid containing the cDNA sequence of mouse Grb2 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_008163), human Grb2 (RefSeq Accession No. NM_002086), and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the cDNA sequence and encoding a protein capable of recognizing and binding to a receptor tyrosine kinase, and recruiting RasGEF to the plasma membrane to activate Ras protein.
[0093] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding AKT1 as one embodiment of the AKT family members include a nucleic acid containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:34 or 36, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:34 or 36 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating AKT pathway.
[0094] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding Rheb include a nucleic acid containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:38 or 40, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:38 or 40 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating mTOR pathway at the downstream.
[0095] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding TCL1 include a nucleic acid containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:42 or 44, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:42 or 44 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating AKT1 protein.
[0096] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding S6K include a nucleic acid containing the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:46 or 48, and a nucleic acid containing a nucleotide sequence capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by SEQ ID NO:46 or 48 under stringent conditions and encoding a protein capable of activating S6 protein.
[0097] A useful nucleic acid capable of hybridizing with a sequence complementary to the nucleotide sequence shown by each SEQ ID NO under stringent conditions is a nucleic acid comprising a nucleotide sequence having an identity of about 80% or more, preferably about 90% or more, more preferably about 95% or more, to the nucleotide sequence shown by each SEQ ID NO. Examples of stringent conditions include conditions described in Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley & Sons, 6.3.1-6.3.6, 1999, e.g., hybridization with 6×SSC (sodium chloride/sodium citrate)/45° C. followed by not less than one time of washing with 0.2×SSC/0.1% SDS/50 to 65° C.; those skilled art can choose as appropriate hybridization conditions that give equivalent stringency.
[0098] The proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention is preferably a constitutively active molecule of Ras protein, a constitutively active molecule of Ras target factor (effector), a constitutively active molecule of signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, an activated molecule of signaling downstream of Ras target factor or a constitutively active molecule of Ras activator. Accordingly, the nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention is preferably a nucleic acid encoding the above-mentioned constitutively active molecule. Said nucleic acid can be prepared by introducing the object amino acid substitution into a nucleic acid encoding a wild-type molecule obtained as mentioned above by site-directed mutagenesis, or adding an oligonucleotide encoding a membrane localization signal sequence to the terminus thereof by using ligase or PCR.
[0099] Transfer of the nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention to a somatic cell can be achieved using a method of gene transfer to cells known per se. A nucleic acid encoding Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of the signaling or Ras activator is inserted into an appropriate expression vector comprising a promoter capable of functioning in a host somatic cell. Useful expression vectors include, for example, viral vectors such as retrovirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, herpes virus and Sendai virus, plasmids for the expression in animal cells (e.g., pA1-11, pXT1, pRc/CMV, pRc/RSV, pcDNAI/Neo) and the like.
[0100] The type of a vector to be used can be chosen as appropriate according to the intended use of the iPS cell to be obtained. Useful vectors include adenoviral vector, plasmid vector, adeno-associated viral vector, retroviral vector, lentiviral vector, Sendai viral vector and the like.
[0101] Examples of promoters used in expression vectors include the EF1α promoter, the CAG promoter, the SRα promoter, the SV40 promoter, the LTR promoter, the CMV (cytomegalovirus) promoter, the RSV (Rous sarcoma virus) promoter, the MoMuLV (Moloney mouse leukemia virus) LTR, the HSV-TK (herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase) promoter and the like, with preference given to the EF1α promoter, the CAG promoter, the MoMuLV LTR, the CMV promoter, the SRα promoter and the like.
[0102] The expression vector may contain as desired, in addition to a promoter, an enhancer, a polyadenylation signal, a selectable marker gene, a SV40 replication origin and the like. Examples of selectable marker genes include the dihydrofolate reductase gene, the neomycin resistant gene, the puromycin resistant gene and the like.
[0103] A nucleic acid that encodes Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of the signaling or Ras activator may be integrated alone into an expression vector, or along with one or more reprogramming genes into an expression vector. Preference is given to the former case when using a retroviral or lentiviral vector, which offer high gene transfer efficiency, and to the latter case when using a plasmid, adenoviral, or episomal vector and the like, but there are no particular limitations.
[0104] In the context above, when a nucleic acid encoding Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of signal thereof or Ras activator and one or more reprogramming genes are integrated in one expression vector, these genes can preferably be integrated into the expression vector via a sequence enabling polycistronic expression. By using a sequence enabling polycistronic expression, it is possible to more efficiently express a plurality of genes integrated in one expression vector. Useful sequences enabling polycistronic expression include, for example, the 2A sequence of foot-and-mouth disease virus (PLoS ONE 3, e2532, 2008, Stem Cells 25, 1707, 2007), the IRES sequence (U.S. Pat. No. 4,937,190) and the like, with preference given to the 2A sequence.
[0105] An expression vector harboring a nucleic acid encoding Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of the signaling or Ras activator can be introduced into a cell by a technique known per se according to the choice of the vector. In the case of a viral vector, for example, a plasmid containing the nucleic acid is introduced into an appropriate packaging cell (e.g., Plat-E cells) or a complementary cell line (e.g., 293-cells), the viral vector produced in the culture supernatant is recovered, and the vector is infected to a cell by a method suitable for the viral vector. For example, specific means using a retroviral vector are disclosed in WO2007/69666, Cell, 126, 663-676 (2006) and Cell, 131, 861-872 (2007). Specific means using a lentiviral vector is disclosed in Science, 318, 1917-1920 (2007). When iPS cells are utilized as a source of cells for regenerative medicine, the expression (reactivation) of Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of the signaling or Ras activator or the activation of a endogenous gene present in the vicinity of the site where exogeneous nucleic acid thereof is integrated potentially increases the risk of tumorigenesis in tissues regenerated from differentiated cells of iPS cell derivation; therefore, a nucleic acid that encodes Ras protein, Ras target factor or Ras activator is preferably expressed transiently, without being integrated into the chromosome of the cells. From this viewpoint, it is preferable to use an adenoviral vector, which is unlikely to be integrated into the chromosome, is preferred. Specific means using an adenoviral vector is described in Science, 322, 945-949 (2008). Adeno-associated virus is unlikely to be integrated into the chromosome, and is less cytotoxic and less phlogogenic than adenoviral vectors, so that it is another preferred vector. Sendai virus vectors are capable of being stably present outside of the chromosome, and can be degraded and removed using an siRNA as required, so that they are preferably utilized as well. Useful Sendai virus vectors are described in J. Biol. Chem., 282, 27383-27391 (2007) or JP-B-3602058.
[0106] When a retroviral vector or a lentiviral vector is used, even if silencing of the transgene has occurred, it possibly becomes reactive; therefore, for example, a method can be used preferably wherein a nucleic acid encoding Ras protein, Ras target factor or Ras activator is cut out using the Cre-loxP system, when becoming unnecessary. That is, with loxP sequences arranged on both ends of the nucleic acid in advance, iPS cells are induced, thereafter the Cre recombinase is allowed to act on the cells using a plasmid vector or adenoviral vector, and the region sandwiched by the loxP sequences can be cut out. Because the enhancer-promoter sequence of the LTR U3 region possibly upregulates a host gene in the vicinity thereof by insertion mutation, it is more preferable to avoid the expression regulation of the endogenous gene by the LTR outside of the loxP sequence remaining in the genome without being cut out, using a 3′-self-inactive (SIN) LTR prepared by deleting the sequence, or substituting the sequence with a polyadenylation sequence such as of SV40. Specific means using the Cre-loxP system and SIN LTR is disclosed in Soldner et al., Cell, 136: 964-977 (2009), Chang et al., Stem Cells, 27: 1042-1049 (2009).
[0107] Meanwhile, being a non-viral vector, a plasmid vector can be transferred into a cell using the lipofection method, liposome method, electroporation method, calcium phosphate co-precipitation method, DEAE dextran method, microinjection method, gene gun method and the like. Specific means using a plasmid as a vector are described in, for example, Science, 322, 949-953 (2008) and the like.
[0108] When a plasmid vector, an adenovirus vector and the like are used, the transfection can be performed once or more optionally chosen times (e.g., once to 10 times, once to 5 times or the like). When two or more kinds of expression vectors are introduced into a somatic cell, it is preferable that these all kinds of expression vectors be concurrently introduced into a somatic cell; however, even in this case, the transfection can be performed once or more optionally chosen times (e.g., once to 10 times, once to 5 times or the like), preferably the transfection can be repeatedly performed twice or more (e.g., 3 times or 4 times).
[0109] Also when an adenovirus or a plasmid is used, the transgene can get integrated into chromosome; therefore, it is eventually necessary to confirm the absence of insertion of the gene into chromosome by Southern blotting or PCR. For this reason, like the aforementioned Cre-loxP system, it can be advantageous to use a means wherein the transgene is integrated into chromosome, thereafter the gene is removed. In another preferred mode of embodiment, a method can be used wherein the transgene is integrated into chromosome using a transposon, thereafter a transposase is allowed to act on the cell using a plasmid vector or adenoviral vector so as to completely eliminate the transgene from the chromosome. As examples of preferable transposons, piggyBac, a transposon derived from a lepidopterous insect, and the like can be mentioned. Specific means using the piggyBac transposon is disclosed in Kaji, K. et al., Nature, 458: 771-775 (2009), Woltjen et al., Nature, 458: 766-770 (2009).
[0110] Another preferable non-integration type vector is an episomal vector, which is capable of self-replication outside of the chromosome. Specific means using an episomal vector is disclosed by Yu et al., in Science, 324, 797-801 (2009). Where necessary, an expression vector may be constructed by inserting a nucleic acid that encodes Ras protein, Ras target factor or Ras activator into an episomal vector having loxP sequences placed in the same orientation on the 5′ and 3′ sides of a vector component essential for the replication of the episomal vector, and transferred to a somatic cell.
[0111] Examples of the episomal vector include a vector comprising as a vector component a sequence derived from EBV, SV40 and the like necessary for self-replication. The vector component necessary for self-replication is specifically exemplified by a replication origin and a gene that encodes a protein that binds to the replication origin to control the replication; examples include the replication origin oriP and the EBNA-1 gene for EBV, and the replication origin on and the SV40 large T antigen gene for SV40.
[0112] The episomal expression vector comprises a promoter that controls the transcription of a nucleic acid encoding Ras protein, Ras target factor, signaling factor downstream of Ras target factor, activator of the signaling or Ras activator. The promoter used may be as described above. The episomal expression vector may further contain as desired an enhancer, a polyadenylation signal, a selection marker gene and the like, as described above. Examples of the selection marker gene include the dihydrofolate reductase gene, the neomycin resistance gene and the like.
[0113] The loxP sequences useful in the present invention include, in addition to the bacteriophage P1-derived wild type loxP sequence (SEQ ID NO:31), optionally chosen mutant loxP sequences capable of deleting the sequence flanked by the loxP sequence by recombination when placed in the same orientation at positions flanking a vector component necessary for the replication of the transgene. Examples of such mutant loxP sequences include lox71 (SEQ ID NO:32), mutated in 5′ repeat, lox66 (SEQ ID NO:33), mutated in 3′ repeat, and lox2272 and lox511, mutated in spacer portion. Although the two loxP sequences placed on the 5′ and 3′ sides of the vector component may be identical or not, the two mutant loxP sequences mutated in spacer portion must be identical (e.g., a pair of lox2272 sequences, a pair of lox511 sequences). Preference is given to a combination of a mutant loxP sequence mutated in 5′ repeat (e.g., lox71) and a mutant loxP sequence mutated in 3′ repeat (e.g., lox66). In this case, the loxP sequences remaining on the chromosome have double mutations in the repeats on the 5′ side and 3′ side as a result of recombination, and are therefore unlikely to be recognized by Cre recombinase, thus reducing the risk of causing a deletion mutation in the chromosome due to unwanted recombination. When the mutant loxP sequences lox71 and lox66 are used in combination, each may be placed on any of the 5′ and 3′ sides of the aforementioned vector component, but it is necessary that the mutant loxP sequences be inserted in an orientation such that the mutated sites would be located at the outer ends of the respective loxP sequences.
[0114] Each of the two loxP sequences is placed in the same orientation on the 5′ and 3′ sides of a vector constituent essential for the replication of the transgene (i.e., a replication origin, or a gene sequence that encodes a protein that binds to the replication origin to control the replication). The vector constituent flanked by the loxP sequences may be either a replication origin or a gene sequence that encodes a protein that binds to the replication origin to control the replication, or both.
[0115] An episomal vector can be transferred into a cell using, for example, the lipofection method, liposome method, electroporation method, calcium phosphate co-precipitation method, DEAE dextran method, microinjection method, gene gun method and the like. Specifically, for example, methods described in Science, 324: 797-801 (2009) and elsewhere can be used.
[0116] Whether or not the vector component necessary for the replication of the transgene has been removed from the iPS cell can be confirmed by performing a Southern blot analysis or PCR analysis using a nucleic acid comprising a nucleotide sequence in the vector component and/or in the vicinity of the loxP sequence as a probe or primer, with the episome fraction isolated from the iPS cell as a template, and determining the presence or absence of a band or the length of the band detected. The episome fraction can be prepared by a method obvious in the art; for example, methods described in Science, 324: 797-801 (2009) and elsewhere can be used.

(c) Nuclear Reprogramming Substances

[0117] In the present invention, “a nuclear reprogramming substance” may be configured with any substance, such as a proteinous factor or a nucleic acid that encodes the same (including forms incorporated in a vector), or a low molecular compound, as far as it is a substance (substances) capable of inducing an iPS cell from a somatic cell when transferred alone to the somatic cell, or when contacted along with the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention to the somatic cell. When the nuclear reprogramming substance is a proteinous factor or a nucleic acid that encodes the same, preferable nuclear reprogramming substance is exemplified by the following combinations (hereinafter, only the names for proteinous factors are shown).

(1) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc

(2) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2 (here, Sox2 is replaceable with Sox1, Sox3, Sox15, Sox17 or Sox18; Klf4 is replaceable with Klf1, Klf2 or Klf5; c-Myc is replaceable with T58A (activated mutant), or L-Myc)

(3) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, Fbx15, Nanog, Eras, TclI

(4) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, TERT, SV40 Large T antigen (hereinafter, SV40LT)

(5) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, TERT, HPV16 E6

(6) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, TERT, HPV16 E7

(7) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, TERT, HPV6 E6, HPV16 E7

(8) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, TERT, Bmil

[0118] [For details of these combinations, see WO 2007/069666 (however, in the combination (2) above, for replacement of Sox2 with Sox18, and replacement of Klf4 with Klf1 or Klf5, see Nature Biotechnology, 26, 101-106 (2008)); for details of the combination “Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2”, see also Cell, 126, 663-676 (2006), Cell, 131, 861-872 (2007) and the like; for details of the combination “Oct3/4, Klf2 (or Klf5), c-Myc, Sox2”, see also Nat. Cell Biol., 11, 197-203 (2009); for details of the combination “Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, hTERT, SV40LT”, see also Nature, 451, 141-146 (2008)]
(9) Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2 [see Nature Biotechnology, 26, 101-106 (2008)]
(10) Oct3/4, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28 [see Science, 318, 1917-1920 (2007)]
(11) Oct3/4, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28, hTERT, SV40LT [see Stem Cells, 26, 1998-2005 (2008)]
(12) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28 [see Cell Research (2008) 600-603]
(13) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, SV40LT [see Stem Cells, 26, 1998-2005 (2008)]
(14) Oct3/4, Klf4 [see Nature 454:646-650 (2008), Cell Stem Cell, 2:525-528 (2008)]
(15) Oct3/4, c-Myc [see Nature 454:646-650 (2008)]
(16) Oct3/4, Sox2 [see Nature, 451, 141-146 (2008), WO2008/118820]
(17) Oct3/4, Sox2, Nanog (see WO2008/118820)
(18) Oct3/4, Sox2, Lin28 (see WO2008/118820)
(19) Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, Esrrb [here, Esrrb is replaceable with Esrrg; see Nat. Cell Biol., 11, 197-203 (2009)]
(20) Oct3/4, Sox2, Esrrb [see Nat. Cell Biol., 11, 197-203 (2009)]
(21) Oct3/4, Klf4, L-Myc (see Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 107, 14152-14157 (2010))
(22) Oct3/4, Nanog
(23) Oct3/4 [Cell 136: 411-419 (2009), Nature, 08436, doi:10.1038 published online (2009)]
(24) Oct3/4, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28, SV40LT [see Science, 324: 797-801 (2009)]
[0119] In (1)-(24) above, in place of Oct3/4, other Oct family members, for example, Oct1A, Oct6 and the like, can also be used. In place of Sox2 (or Sox1, Sox3, Sox15, Sox17, Sox18), other Sox family members, for example, Sox7 and the like, can also be used. Furthermore, in (1) to (24) above, when c-Myc or Lin28 is included as a nuclear reprogramming factor, L-Myc or Lin28B can be used in place of c-Myc or Lin28, respectively.
[0120] A combination which does not fall in any one of (1) to (24) above, but which comprises all the constituents of any one thereof and an optionally chosen other substance, can also be included in the scope of “nuclear reprogramming substances” in the present invention. Provided that the somatic cell to undergo nuclear reprogramming is endogenously expressing one or more of the constituents of any one of (1) to (24) above at a level sufficient to cause nuclear reprogramming, a combination of only the remaining constituents excluding the endogenously expressed constituents can also be included in the scope of “nuclear reprogramming substances” in the present invention.
[0121] Of these combinations, ones wherein at least one, preferably 2 or more, more preferably 3 or more, different nuclear reprogramming genes selected from among Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc or L-Myc, Nanog, Lin28 or Lin28B and SV40LT, are preferred.
[0122] Particularly, if a use of the iPS cells obtained for therapeutic purposes is born in mind, a combination of reprogramming factors without using c-Myc is preferable. Examples thereof include a combination of the three factors of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 [combination (9) above], a combination of the four factors of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and L-Myc [combination (2) above], and a combination containing these combinations and free of c-Myc. If a use of the iPS cells obtained for therapeutic purposes is not born in mind (e.g., used as an investigational tool for drug discovery screening and the like), in addition to the three factors consisting of Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 and the four factors consisting of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and L-Myc, four factors consisting of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, five or six factors consisting of Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc/L-Myc as well as Nanog and/or Lin28/Lin28B, or six or seven factors consisting of the above five or six factors and additional SV40 Large T antigen are exemplified.
[0123] Information on the mouse and human cDNA sequences of the aforementioned proteinous factors is available with reference to the NCBI accession numbers mentioned in WO 2007/069666 (in the publication, Nanog is described as ECAT4). Mouse and human cDNA sequence information on Lin28, Lin28B, Esrrb, Esrrg, and L-Myc can be acquired by referring to the following NCBI accession numbers, respectively); those skilled in the art are able to easily isolate these cDNAs.
[0124] 
[00001] [TABLE-US-00001]
   
    Name of gene   Mouse   Human
   
    Lin28   NM_145833   NM_024674
    Lin28b   NM_001031772   NM_001004317
    Esrrb   NM_011934   NM_004452
    Esrrg   NM_011935   NM_001438
    L-Myc   NM_008506   NM_001033081
   
[0125] When a proteinous factor is used as it is as a nuclear reprogramming substance, it can be prepared by inserting the cDNA obtained into an appropriate expression vector, transferring it into a host cell, culturing the cell, and recovering the recombinant proteinous factor from the culture. Meanwhile, when a nucleic acid that encodes a proteinous factor is used as a nuclear reprogramming substance, the cDNA obtained is inserted into a viral vector, episomal vector or plasmid vector in the same manner as with the above-described case of the nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention to construct an expression vector, which is subjected to the nuclear reprogramming step. The aforementioned Cre-loxP system or piggyBac transposon system can also be utilized as required. When two or more nucleic acids that encodes two or more proteinous factors are transferred to a cell as nuclear reprogramming substances, the different nucleic acids may be carried by separate vectors, or the plurality of nucleic acids may be joined in tandem to obtain a polycistronic vector. In the latter case, to allow efficient polycistronic expression, it is desirable that the 2A self-cleaving peptide of foot-and-mouth disease virus be inserted between the nucleic acids [see Science, 322, 949-953 (2008) and the like].
[0126] A nuclear reprogramming substance can be contacted with a somatic cell (a) in the same manner as in the above-mentioned proteinous establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention when the substance is a proteinous factor or (b) in the same manner as in the above-mentioned nucleic acidic establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention when the substance is a nucleic acid encoding the proteinous factor of (a).

(d) Other iPS Cell Establishment Efficiency Improvers

[0127] Since the iPS cell establishment efficiency has been low, various substances that improve the efficiency have recently been proposed one after another. It can be expected, therefore, that the iPS cell establishment efficiency will be increased by bringing another establishment efficiency improver, in addition to the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention described above, into contact with the transfer subject somatic cell.
[0128] Examples of iPS cell establishment efficiency improvers include, but are not limited to, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors [e.g., valproic acid (VPA), low-molecular inhibitors such as trichostatin A (TSA), sodium butyrate (Cell Stem Cell, 7: 651-655 (2010)), MC 1293, and M344, nucleic acid-based expression inhibitors such as siRNAs and shRNAs against HDAC (e.g., HDAC1 siRNA Smartpool® (Millipore), HuSH 29mer shRNA Constructs against HDAC1 (OriGene) and the like), and the like], DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (e.g., 5′-azacytidine (5′ azaC)) (Nat. Biotechnol., 26(7): 795-797 (2008)), G9a histone methyltransferase inhibitors [e.g., low-molecular inhibitors such as BIX-01294 (Cell Stem Cell, 2: 525-528 (2008)), nucleic acid-based expression inhibitors such as siRNAs and shRNAs against G9a (e.g., G9a siRNA (human) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology) and the like) and the like], L-channel calcium agonists (e.g., Bayk8644) (Cell Stem Cell, 3, 568-574 (2008)), p53 inhibitors (e.g., siRNA, shRNA, dominant negative form, etc. against p53 (Cell Stem Cell, 3, 475-479 (2008)), Nature 460, 1132-1135 (2009)), Wnt Signaling (e.g., soluble Wnt3a) (Cell Stem Cell, 3, 132-135 (2008)), 2i/LIF (2i is an inhibitor of mitogen-active protein kinase signalling and glycogen synthase kinase-3, PloS Biology, 6 (10), 2237-2247 (2008))], and ES cell-specific miRNAs [e.g., miR-302-367 cluster (Mol. Cell. Biol. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00398-08), miR-302 (RNA (2008) 14: 1-10), miR-291-3p, miR-294 and miR-295 (Nat. Biotechnol. 27: 459-461 (2009), 3′-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) activator (e.g., PS48 (Cell Stem Cell, 7: 651-655 (2010)) etc.), GLIS family members (e.g., GLIS1 (Nature, 474: 225-229 (2011)), WO2010/098419 etc.)]. As mentioned above, the nucleic acid-based expression inhibitors may be in the form of expression vectors harboring a DNA that encodes an siRNA or shRNA.
[0129] Of the aforementioned constituents of nuclear reprogramming substances, SV40 large T, for example, can also be included in the scope of iPS cell establishment efficiency improvers because it is an auxiliary factor unessential for the nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells. While the mechanism of nuclear reprogramming remains unclear, it does not matter whether auxiliary factors, other than the factors essential for nuclear reprogramming, are deemed nuclear reprogramming substances or iPS cell establishment efficiency improvers. Hence, because the somatic cell nuclear reprogramming process is taken as an overall event resulting from contact of a nuclear reprogramming substance and an iPS cell establishment efficiency improver with a somatic cell, it does not always seems to be essential for those skilled in the art to distinguish between the two.
[0130] An iPS cell establishment efficiency improver can be contacted with a somatic cell by a method similar to the method mentioned above about the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention for each of (a) when the substance is a proteinous factor and (b) when the substance is a nucleic acid encoding the proteinous factor. On the other hand, when the substance is (c) a low-molecular-weight compound, the substance can be contacted with a somatic cell by dissolving the factor at a suitable concentration in an aqueous or non-aqueous solvent, adding the solution to a medium suitable for the culture of somatic cell isolated from human or other mammal (e.g., minimum essential medium (MEM), Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (DMEM), RPMI1640 medium, 199 medium, F12 medium (when KSR is not used as an improving factor, it may contain about 5-20% fetal bovine serum) and the like) such that the factor concentration falls within the above-mentioned range, and cultivating the cells for a given period. While the contact period is not particularly limited as long as it is sufficient for achieving the nuclear reprogramming of the somatic cell, for example, they may be left copresent in the medium until a positive colony emerges.
[0131] An iPS cell establishment efficiency improver, including the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention, may be contacted with a somatic cell simultaneously with a nuclear reprogramming substance, and either one may be contacted in advance, as far as the iPS cell establishment efficiency from a somatic cell improves significantly compared with the efficiency obtained in the absence of the improver. In an embodiment, for example, when the nuclear reprogramming substance is a nucleic acid that encodes a proteinous factor and the iPS cell establishment efficiency improver is a chemical inhibitor, the iPS cell establishment efficiency improver can be added to the medium after the cell is cultured for a given length of time after the gene transfer treatment, because the nuclear reprogramming substance involves a given length of time lag from the gene transfer treatment to the mass-expression of the proteinous factor, whereas the iPS cell establishment efficiency improver is capable of rapidly acting on the cell. In another embodiment, for example, when the nuclear reprogramming substance and iPS cell establishment efficiency improver are both used in the form of a viral vector or plasmid vector, both may be simultaneously transferred into the cell.

(e) Improving the Establishment Efficiency by Culture Conditions

[0132] The iPS cell establishment efficiency can further be improved by culturing the cells under hypoxic conditions in the nuclear reprogramming process for somatic cells (see Cell Stem Cell., 5(3): 237-241 (2009); WO2010/013845). As mentioned herein, the term “hypoxic conditions” means that the ambient oxygen concentration as of the time of cell culture is significantly lower than that in the atmosphere. Specifically, conditions involving lower oxygen concentrations than the ambient oxygen concentrations in the 5-10% CO2/95-90% air atmosphere, which is commonly used for ordinary cell culture, can be mentioned; examples include conditions involving an ambient oxygen concentration of 18% or less. Preferably, the ambient oxygen concentration is 15% or less (e.g., 14% or less, 13% or less, 12% or less, 11% or less and the like), 10% or less (e.g., 9% or less, 8% or less, 7% or less, 6% or less and the like), or 5% or less (e.g., 4% or less, 3% or less, 2% or less and the like). The ambient oxygen concentration is preferably 0.1% or more (e.g., 0.2% or more, 0.3% or more, 0.4% or more and the like), 0.5% or more (e.g., 0.6% or more, 0.7% or more, 0.8% or more, 0.95% or more and the like), or 1% or more (e.g., 1.1% or more, 1.2% or more, 1.3% or more, 1.4% or more and the like).
[0133] Although any method of creating a hypoxic state in a cellular environment can be used, the easiest way is to culture cells in a CO2 incubator permitting adjustments of oxygen concentration, and this represents a suitable case. CO2 incubators permitting adjustment of oxygen concentration are commercially available from various manufacturers (e.g., CO2 incubators for hypoxic culture manufactured by Thermo scientific, Ikemoto Scientific Technology, Juji Field, Wakenyaku etc.).
[0134] The time of starting cell culture under hypoxic conditions is not particularly limited, as far as iPS cell establishment efficiency is not prevented from being improved compared with the normal oxygen concentration (20%). Although the culture may be started before the somatic cell is contacted with the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention and the nuclear reprogramming substance, or at the same time as the contact, or after the contact, it is preferable, for example, that the culture under hypoxic conditions be started just after the somatic cell is contacted with the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention and the nuclear reprogramming substance, or at a given time interval after the contact [e.g., 1 to 10 (e.g., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9) days].
[0135] The duration of cultivation of cells under hypoxic conditions is not particularly limited, as far as iPS cell establishment efficiency is not prevented from being improved compared with the normal oxygen concentration (20%); examples include, but are not limited to, periods of 3 days or more, 5 days or more, for 7 days or more or 10 days or more, and 50 days or less, 40 days or less, 35 days or less or 30 days or less and the like. Preferred duration of cultivation under hypoxic conditions varies depending on ambient oxygen concentration; those skilled in the art can adjust as appropriate the duration of cultivation according to the oxygen concentration used. In an embodiment of the present invention, if iPS cell candidate colonies are selected with drug resistance as an index, it is preferable that a normal oxygen concentration be restored from hypoxic conditions before starting drug selection.
[0136] Furthermore, preferred starting time and preferred duration of cultivation for cell culture under hypoxic conditions also vary depending on the choice of nuclear reprogramming substance used, iPS cell establishment efficiency at normal oxygen concentrations and the like.

(f) Selection and Confirmation of iPS Cell

[0137] After being contacted with the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention and a nuclear reprogramming substance (and other iPS cell establishment efficiency improver), the cell can, for example, be cultured under conditions suitable for cultivation of ES cells. In the case of mouse cells, generally, the cultivation is carried out with the addition of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) as a differentiation suppression factor to an ordinary medium. Meanwhile, in the case of human cells, it is desirable that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and/or stem cell factor (SCF) be added in place of LIF. However, when the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention is contacted with somatic cell, human iPS cell colony of the same level as in the presence of bFGF can be obtained even in the absence of bFGF.
[0138] Usually, the cell is cultured in the co-presence of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) treated with radiation or an antibiotic to terminate the cell division, as feeder cells. Usually, STO cells and the like are commonly used as MEFs; for induction of an iPS cell, however, the SNL cell [McMahon, A. P. & Bradley, A. Cell 62, 1073-1085 (1990)] and the like are commonly used. Co-culture with the feeder cells may be started before contact with the establishment efficiency improving factor of the present invention and a nuclear reprogramming substance, at the time of the contact, or after the contact (e.g., 1-10 days later).
[0139] A candidate colony of iPS cells can be selected in two ways: methods with drug resistance and reporter activity as indicators, and methods based on macroscopic examination of morphology. As an example of the former, a colony positive for drug resistance and/or reporter activity is selected using a recombinant cell wherein a drug resistance gene and/or a reporter gene is targeted to the locus of a gene highly expressed specifically in pluripotent cells (e.g., Fbx15, Nanog, Oct3/4 and the like, preferably Nanog or Oct3/4). Examples of such recombinant cells include MEFs and TTFs derived from a mouse having the βgeo (which encodes a fusion protein of β-galactosidase and neomycin phosphotransferase) gene knocked in to the Fbx15 gene locus [Takahashi & Yamanaka, Cell, 126, 663-676 (2006)], and MEFs and TTFs derived from a transgenic mouse having the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and the puromycin resistance gene integrated in the Nanog gene locus [Okita et al., Nature, 448, 313-317 (2007)]. Meanwhile, methods for selecting a candidate colony by macroscopic examination of morphology include, for example, the method described by Takahashi et al. in Cell, 131, 861-872 (2007). Although the methods using reporter cells are convenient and efficient, colony selection by macroscopic examination is desirable from the viewpoint of safety when iPS cells are prepared for therapeutic purposes in humans.
[0140] The identity of the cells of the selected colony as iPS cells can be confirmed by positive responses to Nanog (or Oct3/4) reporters (puromycin resistance, GFP positivity and the like), as well as by the visible formation of an ES cell-like colony, as described above; however, to ensure greater accuracy, it is possible to perform tests such as alkaline phosphatase staining, analyzing the expression of various ES-cell-specific genes, and transplanting the selected cells to a mouse and confirming teratoma formation.
[0141] When a nucleic acid that encodes Ras protein, Ras target factor or Ras activator is transferred to a somatic cell, the iPS cell obtained is a novel cell distinct from conventionally known iPS cells in that the exogenous nucleic acid is contained. In particular, when the exogenous nucleic acid is introduced into a somatic cell using a retrovirus, lentivirus or the like, the exogenous nucleic acid is usually integrated in the genome of the iPS cell obtained, so that the phenotype of containing the exogenous nucleic acid is stably retained.

(g) Use of iPS Cells

[0142] The iPS cells thus established can be used for various purposes. For example, by utilizing a method of differentiation induction reported with respect to ES cells (for example, the method described in JP 2002-291469 as a method for inducing differentiation into nerve stem cells, the method described in JP 2004-121165 as a method for inducing differentiation into pancreatic stem-like cells, the method described in JP 2003-505006 as a method for inducing differentiation into hematopoietic cells and the like. Additionally, the method described in JP 2003-523766 as a differentiation induction method via embryonic body formation and the like can be recited as examples), differentiation into various cells (e.g., myocardial cells, blood cells, nerve cells, vascular endothelial cells, insulin-secreting cells and the like) from iPS cells can be induced. Therefore, inducing iPS cells using a somatic cell collected from a patient or another person of the same or substantially the same HLA type would enable stem cell therapy by autogeneic or allogeneic transplantation, wherein the iPS cells are differentiated into desired cells (that is, cells of an affected organ of the patient, cells that have a therapeutic effect on disease, and the like), which are transplanted to the patient. Furthermore, because functional cells (e.g., hepatocytes) differentiated from iPS cells are thought to better reflect the actual state of the functional cells in vivo than do corresponding existing cell lines, they can also be suitably used for in vitro screening for the effectiveness and toxicity of pharmaceutical candidate compounds and the like.

EXAMPLES

[0143] The present invention is hereinafter described in further detail by means of the following examples, to which, however, the invention is not limited.

Example 1

Consideration of Effect of Ras Family on Human iPS Cell Establishment

[0144] Whether or not Ras family (Nras, Hras, Kras and Eras) has an effect on iPS cell establishment was examined.
[0145] Fibroblasts (HDF) derived from the skin of an adult (a 73-year-old female Caucasian, name of cell line 1503) were allowed to express the mouse ecotropic virus receptor Slc7a1 gene using a lentivirus (pLenti6/UbC-Slc7a1), as described by Takahashi, K. et al. in Cell, 131:861-872 (2007). These cells (1×105 cells/well, 6-well plate) were transfected with the following genes using a retrovirus, as described by Takahashi, K. et al. in Cell, 131:861-872 (2007), and the number of the resultant iPS cell colonies was compared to that obtained by introduction of 4 genes (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc).

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Nras

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Hras

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Kras

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Eras

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, SVLS

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, SSVA

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, N17

[0146] Here, the “V12” is a constitutively active mutant of HRas wherein the 12th glycine of HRas is substituted by valine. V12 is known to activate any pathways of MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway (RalGEF pathway) which are three signal transduction pathways of Ras.
[0147] The “SVLS” is an inactivated mutant incapable of localization in the plasma membrane due to the substitution of 4 amino acids CVLS at the C-terminus of H-Ras by SVLS, and “SSVA” is an inactivated mutant incapable of localization in the plasma membrane due to the substitution of 4 amino acids CSVA at the C-terminus of E-Ras by SSVA.
[0148] The “N17” is an inactivated mutant (dominant-negative mutant) wherein the 17th serine of H-Ras is substituted by asparagine.
[0149] The cells were collected on day 7 from the viral infection, and replated on feeder cells (2.5×105 cells/100 mm dish). The feeder cells used were SNL cells treated with mitomycin C to terminate the cell division thereof [McMahon, A. P. & Bradley, A. Cell 62, 1073-1085 (1990)]. From day 10 after infection, the cells were cultured in a primate ES cell culture medium (ReproCELL) supplemented with 4 ng/ml recombinant human bFGF (WAKO). The iPS cell colonies were counted on day 24 from the infection, and the fold change when the number of the colonies obtained by 4 transgene is 1 (Red in Figure) is shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 1 shows the mean values of three experiments. By the addition of Eras to the 4 genes, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased dramatically. Since Eras is known to activate the PI3 kinase pathway, of the Ras signal transduction pathways, activation of the PI3 kinase pathway was suggested to particularly contribute to the promotion of the iPS cell establishment. When other Ras (Nras, Hras, Kras) were added, the number of human iPS cell colonies also increased, though not as much as by Eras.

Example 2

Consideration of Effect of Ras Signal Transduction Pathway on Human iPS Cell Establishment (1)

[0150] Among three pathways of the MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway (RalGEF pathway) which are Ras signal transduction pathways, whether or not the activation of any signal transduction pathways has an effect on iPS cell establishment was examined. The following combinations were used for the experiment which was performed in the same manner as in Example 1.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Nras

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Hras

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Kras

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Eras

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12T35S

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12E37G

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12Y40C

[0151] Here, “V12T35S” is a mutant wherein the MAP kinase pathway is selectively and constitutively activated by the substitution of the 12th glycine of HRas by valine and the 35th threonine by serine.
[0152] The “V12E37G” is a mutant wherein the Ral pathway is selectively and constitutively activated by the substitution of the 12th glycine of HRas by valine and the 37th glutamic acid by glycine.
[0153] The “V12Y40C” is a mutant wherein the PI3 kinase pathway is selectively and constitutively activated by the substitution of the 12th glycine of HRas by valine and the 40th tyrosine by cysteine.
[0154] The cells were collected on day 7 from the viral infection, and replated on feeder cells (2.5×105 cells/100 mm dish). From day 10 from the infection, the cells were cultured in a primate ES cell culture medium (ReproCELL) supplemented with 4 ng/ml recombinant human bFGF (WAKO). The iPS cell colonies were counted on day 24 from the infection, and the fold change when the number of the colonies obtained by 4 transgene is 1 (Red in Figure) is shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 shows mean values of three experiments. By adding Eras to 4 genes in the same manner as in Example 1, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased dramatically. In addition, when V12E37G or V12Y40C was added, the number of human iPS cell colonies also increased dramatically. When V12T35S was added, the effect was low. From the above results, activation of the PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway was shown to contribute to the promotion of the iPS cell establishment.

Example 3

Consideration of Effect on Different Cells

[0155] Using dermal fibroblasts of 6-year-old Japanese female (cell name: TIG120) and dermal fibroblasts of 68-year-old Japanese female (cell name: 1616), an experiment similar to that in the aforementioned Example was performed in the following combinations.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Eras

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12Y40C (simply shown as “Y40C” in FIG. 3)

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Myr-PI3K (simply shown as “M-PI3K” in FIG. 3)

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, PI3K-CaaX (simply shown as “C-PI3K” in FIG. 3)

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12E37G (simply shown as “E37G” in FIG. 3)

[0156] Here, “Myr-PI3K (M-PI3K)” is a constitutively active PI3 kinase localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus.
[0157] The “PI3K-CaaX (C-PI3K)” is a constitutively active PI3 kinase catalytic subunit localized in the membrane by the addition of a Caax motif sequence to the C-terminus.
[0158] The cells were collected on day 7 from the viral infection, and replated on feeder cells (0.5×105 cells/100 mm dish). From day 10 from the infection, the cells were cultured in a primate ES cell culture medium (ReproCELL) supplemented with 4 ng/ml recombinant human bFGF (WAKO). FIG. 3 shows the number of the iPS cell colonies on day 24 from the infection. FIG. 3 shows mean values of three experiments. By adding Eras, V12Y40C (Y40C) or V12E37G (E37G) to 4 genes in the same manner as in Example 2, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased. In addition, when a constitutively active form of PI3 kinase was added, the number of colonies increased similarly. From the above results, the activation of the PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway was confirmed to contribute to the promotion of iPS cell establishment and to show a similar effect on cells other than HDF1503.

Example 4

Consideration of Effect of Ras Signal Transduction Pathway on Human iPS Cell Establishment (2)

[0159] The effect of activation of each Ras signal transduction pathway on iPS cell establishment was examined by an experiment similar to that in the aforementioned Example and using the following combinations.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Nras

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Hras

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Kras

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Eras

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12T35S

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12E37G

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Raf-CaaX

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, RalGDS-CaaX

[0160] Here, “Raf-CaaX” is a constitutively active form localized in the membrane by the addition of a Caax motif sequence to the C-terminus of MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) present in the MAP kinase pathway.
[0161] The “RalGDS-Caax” is a constitutively active form localized in the membrane by the addition of a Caax motif sequence to the C-terminus of Ras target protein, which activates Ral which is a G protein belonging to the Ras subfamily.
[0162] The cells were collected on day 7 from the viral infection, and replated on feeder cells (2.5×105 cells/100 mm dish). From day 10 from the infection, the cells were cultured in a primate ES cell culture medium (ReproCELL) supplemented with 4 ng/ml recombinant human bFGF (WAKO). The iPS cell colonies were counted on day 24 from the infection, and the fold change when the number of the colonies obtained by 4 transgene is 1 (Red in Figure) is shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows mean values of three experiments.
[0163] By adding V12E37G to 4 genes in the same manner as in Examples 2 and 3, the number of human iPS cell colonies increased dramatically. In addition, since a similar effect was found when a constitutively active form of RalGDS which is a Ral activator was added, activation of the Ral pathway was confirmed to contribute to the promotion of iPS cell establishment. In contrast, when V12T35S and a constitutively active form of Raf were added, the effect was low. Therefore, the MAP kinase pathway was suggested to contribute not much to iPS cell establishment.

Example 5

Consideration of Effect of Ras Signal Transduction Pathway on Human iPS Cell Establishment (3)

[0164] The effect of activation of each Ras signal transduction pathway on iPS cell establishment was examined in the same manner as in the aforementioned Examples and using the following combinations.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12 (shown as “HRasV12” in FIG. 5)

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, N17 (shown as “HRasN17” in FIG. 5)

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12T35S (shown as “HRasV12/S35” in FIG. 5)

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12E37G (shown as “HRasV12/G37” in FIG. 5)

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, V12Y40C (shown as “HRasV12/C40” in FIG. 5)

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Raf-CaaX

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, RalGDS-CaaX

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, PI3K-CaaX (shown as “p110-CaaX” in FIG. 5)

[0165] The cells were collected on day 7 from the viral infection, and replated on feeder cells (2.5×105 cells/100 mm dish). From day 8 from the infection, the cells were cultured in a primate ES cell culture medium (ReproCELL) supplemented with 4 ng/ml recombinant human bFGF (WAKO). FIG. 5 shows the number of the iPS cell colonies on day 24 from the infection. FIG. 5 shows mean values of three experiments. In the same manner as in Examples 1-4, by adding V12E37G, V12Y40C, RalGDS-CaaX or PI3K-CaaX to 4 genes, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased remarkably. From the above results, the activation of the PI3 kinase pathway and Ral pathway was confirmed to contribute to the promotion of iPS cell establishment. In contrast, the MAP kinase pathway was suggested to contribute not much to iPS cell establishment.

Example 6

Consideration of Relationship of Each Ras Signal Transduction Pathway

[0166] Whether the PI3 kinase pathway, Ral pathway and MAP kinase pathway are related to each other or independent pathways for iPS cell establishment was examined.
[0167] The experiment was performed in the same manner as in Example 5. The results are shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 6 shows mean values of three experiments. When V12Y40C was added to Eras (ERas+HRasV12/C40 in FIG. 6), an additive effect (enhancement effect) was not found since they are factors that activate the PI3 kinase pathway. In contrast, when V12E37G was added to Eras (ERas+HRasV12/G37 in FIG. 6) and V12Y40C was added to V12E37G (HrasV12/G37+C40 in FIG. 6), an additive effect (enhancement effect) was found, which indicates that the Ral pathway and PI3 kinase pathway are involved in the promotion of iPS cell establishment by different, independent actions.

Example 7

Consideration of Effect in the Absence of bFGF

[0168] The effects of Raf-CaaX, RalGDS-CaaX and PI3K-CaaX in the absence of bFGF were examined. The experiment was performed in the same manner as in Examples 5 and 6. The results are shown in FIG. 7. When RalGDS-CaaX was added to 4 genes, the number of the colonies of the same level as in the presence of bFGF was observed even in the absence of bFGF.

Example 8

Consideration of Effect of AKT on Human iPS Cell Establishment

[0169] Whether or not AKT as a downstream signal of PI3K has an effect on iPS cell establishment, and whether or not c-MYC or GSK3β influences iPS cell establishment by AKT were examined.
[0170] The following genes were introduced into human dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616, purchased from Cell applications, Inc.) in the same manner as in the aforementioned Example 1.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, GSK3β S9A

[0171] Here, “Myr-AKT1” is a constitutively active AKT1 localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus.
[0172] The “c-MYC shRNA” is shRNA targeting c-MYC, and used here was pRetrosuper Myc shRNA (Plasmid 15662) purchased from Addgene.
[0173] The “GSK3β S9A” is a constitutively active mutant which is not degraded by protease, by the substitution of the 9th serine of GSK3β by alanine.
[0174] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 8A.
[0175] By adding Myr-AKT1, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased significantly. Since this effect disappeared when shRNA of c-MYC was added, c-MYC was shown to be essential for the promotion of iPS cell establishment by AKT1 activation. On the other hand, since GSK3β S9A produced no influence, phosphorylation of GSK3β was shown to be uninvolved as AKT1 downstream signal.
[0176] In addition, the culture condition was changed (5×105 cells/well), and the following genes were introduced into human dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616, purchased from Cell applications, Inc.) in the same manner.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, p110-Caax

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, p110-KD

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, AKT1-KD

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, PTEN shRNA

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, TCL1

[0177] Here, “p110-Caax” is equivalent to the aforementioned “PI3K-CaaX”.
[0178] The “p110-KD” is inactivated PI3K which is a mutant lacking the kinase domain.
[0179] The “AKT1-KD” is inactivated AKT1 which is a mutant lacking the kinase domain.
[0180] The “PTEN shRNA” is shRNA against PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) that suppresses the PI3K pathway, and used here was pMK0.1 puro PTEN shRNA (Plasmid 10669) purchased from Addgene.
[0181] On day 7 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 8B.
[0182] In the same manner as in the earlier experiment, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased significantly by the addition of Myr-AKT1. Since a similar effect was found by the addition of TCL1 which is an AKT1 activator, the activation of AKT1 was suggested to be involved in the promotion of iPS cell establishment.

Example 9

Consideration of Effect of AKT Related Signal on Human iPS Cell Establishment

[0183] The influence of AKT-related signals (PDK1, GSK3(3, Wnt) on the iPS cell establishment efficiency was examined.
[0184] In the same manner as in the aforementioned Example 1, the following genes were introduced into dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616) in the presence of each low-molecular-weight compound.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, PS48

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, CHIR99021

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Wnt3a

[0185] Here, “PS48” is a drug that selectively binds to a PIF binding pocket site of PDK1 and activates PDK1. In this experiment, 10 μM was added to the medium. It was available from Sigma and used.
[0186] The “CHIR99021” is an inhibitor showing high selectivity to GSK3β. In this experiment, 1 μM was added to a medium. It was purchased from Stemgent and used.
[0187] The “Wnt3a” was purchased from R&D systems Inc., and 10 ng/ml thereof was added to the medium.
[0188] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 9.
[0189] By adding PS48 and Wnt3a, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased significantly. On the other hand, when CHIR99021 was added, the number of the iPS cell colonies tended to decrease. From the above, it was shown that PDK1 and Wnt signals at the downstream of PI3K signal are involved in the promotion of iPS cell establishment, but inhibition of GSK3β phosphorylation is not involved in the iPS cell establishment.

Example 10

Consideration of Effect of AKT Family and mTOR Signal on Human iPS Cell Establishment

[0190] The following genes were introduced into dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616) in the same manner as in the aforementioned Example 1.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, p110-Caax

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, PTEN shRNA

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, AKT1 K179M

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1#2

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT2

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT3

9) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-SGK1

10) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, SGK1 K127M

11) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-ILK

12) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, ILK E359K

13) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-PDK1

14) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, GSK3 S9A

15) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Rheb

16) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, S6K1 T389E

17) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, FKBP12

[0191] Here, “p110-Caax” is equivalent to the aforementioned “PI3K-CaaX”.
[0192] The “PTEN shRNA” is shRNA against PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) that suppresses PI3K pathway, and used here was pMK0.1 puro PTEN shRNA (Plasmid 10669) purchased from Addgene.
[0193] The “Myr-AKT1#2” is a constitutively active AKT1 different from Myr-AKT1 in plasmid of a basic skeleton.
[0194] The “AKT1 K179M” is an inactive dominant negative AKT1 wherein the kinase region is mutated.
[0195] The “Myr-AKT2” is a constitutively active AKT2 localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus.
[0196] The “Myr-AKT3” is a constitutively active AKT3 localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus.
[0197] The “Myr-SGK1” is a constitutively active SGK1 localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus of SGK1 (Serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase) which is an important regulator in the mTORC2/SGK1 pathway and a protein kinase in the insulin signal transduction system.
[0198] The “SGK1 K127M” is a dominant negative SGK1 wherein the kinase region is mutated by the substitution of the 127th lysine of SGK1 by methionine.
[0199] The “Myr-ILK” is a constitutively active ILK localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus of ILK (Integrin Linked Kinase) which is a serine/threonine kinase located in the upstream of the AKT in the PI3K signal. ILK inhibits the PI3K/AKT pathway by binding to PDK in the upstream of AKT.
[0200] The “ILK E359K” is a dominant negative ILK wherein the kinase region is mutated by the substitution of the 359th glutamic acid of ILK by lysine.
[0201] The “Myr-PDK1” is a constitutively active PDK1 localized in the membrane by the addition of a myristoylation signal sequence to the N-terminus of PDK1 included in the PDK subfamily.
[0202] The “S6K1 T389E” is a constitutively active S6K1 mutant by the substitution of the 389th threonine of S6K1 by glutamic acid.
[0203] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 10.
[0204] In the same manner as in Example 3, the number of the iPS cell colonies increased by the addition of p110-Caax. Similarly, the number of the iPS cell colonies increased with PTEN shRNA, which shows the important of PI3K for the promotion of iPS cell establishment. As in Example 8, the number of the iPS cell colonies increased with Myr-AKT1, and similar results were also obtained with AKT2 and AKT3 in the AKT family.
[0205] In addition, the number of the human iPS cell colonies increased dramatically by the addition of Rheb, S6K1 T389E. The Rheb is a factor that activates mTOR, and S6K1 is a downstream factor of mTOR, and therefore, the activation of the mTOR signal pathway was suggested to contribute to the promotion of iPS cell establishment.

Example 11

Consideration of c-MYC on Human iPS Cell Establishment by mTOR Signal Related Gene

[0206] The following genes were introduced into dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616) in the same manner as in the aforementioned Example 1.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, c-MYC shRNA

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Rheb

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Rheb, c-MYC shRNA

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, S6K1 T389E

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, S6K1 T389E, c-MYC shRNA

[0207] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 11A. In all cases, the effect of promotion of the iPS cell establishment disappeared by the addition of c-MYC shRNA, which shows that c-MYC is essential for the promotion of iPS cell establishment by these genes.
[0208] Furthermore, Mock, Myr-AKT1, Rheb, S6K1 T389E and p53 shRNA were introduced into dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616). On day 7 from the introduction, the intracellular protein was recovered by a conventional method, and the expression levels of c-MYC, p-AKT, AKT, p-S6K1, S6K1, p-TSC2 and TSC2 were confirmed by Western blotting.
[0209] Here, “p53 shRNA” is shRNA against p53 and the sequence described in Hong H, et al., Nature. 460: 1132-1135 (2009) was used.
[0210] The results are shown in FIG. 11B.
[0211] Increase of the expression level of c-MYC by the introduction of Myr-AKT1, Rheb and S6K1 T389E was confirmed. From this, the mechanism of promotion of iPS cell establishment by Myr-AKT1, Rheb and S6K1 T389E via increased expression of c-MYC was suggested.
[0212] In addition, introduction of p53 shRNA increased phosphorylated AKT. Since Hong H et al. show promotion of iPS cell establishment by the inhibition of p53, the inhibition of p53 was suggested to promote iPS cell establishment via AKT phosphorylation.

Example 12

Consideration of Effect of AKT1 on Promotion of Human iPS Cell Establishment by Inhibition of p53 and Introduction of GLIS1

[0213] The following genes were introduced into human dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616) in the same manner as in the aforementioned Example 1.

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, p53 shRNA

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, p53 shRNA

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA, p53 shRNA

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA, p53 shRNA

[0214] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 12A.
[0215] By simultaneous addition of Myr-AKT1 and p53 shRNA, increase of the number of iPS cell colonies was observed. Therefore, introduction of p53 shRNA and AKT1 was shown to have a synergistic effect on the promotion of iPS cell establishment. In addition, since the number of iPS cell colonies decreased by c-MYC shRNA in all cases, these effects were suggested to be actions via c-MYC.
[0216] Furthermore, the following genes were introduced into human dermal fibroblasts (HDF: cell name 1616).

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, GLIS1

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, GLIS1

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA, GLIS1

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA, GLIS1

[0217] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 12B.
[0218] By simultaneous addition of Myr-AKT1 and GLIS1, increase of the number of iPS cell colonies was observed. Therefore, introduction of GLIS1 and AKT1 was shown to have a synergistic effect on the promotion of iPS cell establishment. In addition, since the number of iPS cell colonies decreased by c-MYC shRNA in all cases, these effects were suggested to be actions via c-MYC.
[0219] Furthermore, to examine similar effects in other cell lines, the following genes were introduced into human dental pulp cells (DP: cell name DP31).

1) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, Mock

2) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, p53 shRNA

3) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Mock, GLIS1

4) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, Mock

5) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, p53 shRNA

6) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, GLIS1

7) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA, Mock

8) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA, p53 shRNA

9) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-MYC shRNA, GLIS1

10) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA, Mock

11) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA, p53 shRNA

12) Human Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, Myr-AKT1, c-MYC shRNA, GLIS1

[0220] On day 32 from the infection, the number of the iPS cell colonies was counted, and the results are shown in FIG. 12C.
[0221] Similar to the above-mentioned results, the number of the iPS cell colonies increased by simultaneous addition of Myr-AKT1 and p53 shRNA or Myr-AKT1 and GLIS1. From this, it was shown that, regardless of the somatic cell type, introduction of AKT1 and inhibition of p53, or the introduction of AKT1 and GLIS1 have a synergistic effect on the promotion of iPS cell establishment.
[0222] The contents described in any publication cited herein, including patents and patent applications, are hereby incorporated in their entireties by reference, to the extent that they have been disclosed herein.
[0223] This application is based on U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/419,320, the contents of which are encompassed in full herein.
(57)

Claims

1. A method of producing induced pluripotent stem cells, comprising contacting a somatic cell with a nuclear reprogramming substance(s) and a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding one or more AKT family members, thereby producing functionally pluripotent stem cells,
wherein the nuclear reprogramming substance(s) comprises a nucleic acid vector encoding Oct3/4 and optionally comprises a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding one or more substances selected from the group consisting of Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Lin28 and Nanog.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the AKT family members are constitutively active forms.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
4. The method according to claim 2, wherein the AKT family members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
5. The method according to claim 1, further comprising contacting one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same with the somatic cell.
6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances comprise a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding Oct3/4, Klf4 and Sox2.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances comprise a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, as well as c-Myc or L-Myc and/or Nanog and/or Lin28 or Lin28B.
8. A method of improving the efficiency of establishment of a reprogrammed cell, comprising contacting a somatic cell with (a) a nuclear reprogramming substance(s) and (b) a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding one or more AKT family members, thereby improving the efficiency of establishment of reprogrammed cells as compared to the establishment of reprogrammed cells established without contacting the somatic cell with (b),
wherein the nuclear reprogramming substance(s) comprises a nucleic acid vector encoding Oct3/4 and optionally comprises a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding one or more substances selected from the group consisting of Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, Lin28 and Nanog, and
wherein the reprogrammed cell is in a more undifferentiated state than the somatic cell so as to form an ES-like colony.
9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the AKT family members are constitutively active forms.
10. The method according to claim 8, wherein the AKT family members are selected from the group consisting of AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3.
11. The method according to claim 9, wherein the AKT family members constitutively activate signal transduction pathway of mTOR pathway.
12. The method according to claim 8, further comprising contacting one or more factors selected from the group consisting of p53 inhibitor, GLIS family members, and nucleic acids that encode the same with the somatic cell.
13. The method according to claim 8, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances comprise a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding Oct3/4, Klf4 and Sox2.
14. The method according to claim 8, wherein the nuclear reprogramming substances comprise a nucleic acid vector(s) encoding Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, as well as c-Myc or L-Myc and/or Nanog and/or Lin28 or Lin28B.
*****

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