Our technology platform relies on key transcription factor (TF) genes, a combination of which determines the identity of cells. These TFs are so powerful that they can rapidly and efficiently differentiate human pluripotent stem cells, such as ES cells and iPS cells, into specific cell types, such as neurons and muscles. These TFs are introduced into cells in the form of RNAs – either Synthetic mRNAs or Sendai virus RNA vectors, and thus, they do not leave any footprint on the genome.
Our platform is based on the technologies that have been developed in the laboratory of Minoru S.H. Ko, M.D., Ph.D. at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baltimore, Maryland (1998-2011) and Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku, Tokyo (2012-present). The project at NIH established and demonstrated the principles using mouse ES cells (References 1-6). The project has also generated a large number of mouse ES cell clones and gene expression profiles (Link): these mouse ES cell clones have been made available to the research community thorough the Coriell Cell Repository (Link). The project at Keio extended the work to human ES and iPS cells (References 7-9). These technologies have been exclusively licensed from Keio University (see the News section).