Making It Easier to Make Stem Cells: Kinase Inhibitors Lower Barrier to Producing Stem Cells in Lab, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute Study
9/26/2012 7:24:29 AM
The process researchers use to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)—a special type of stem cell that can be made in the lab from any type of adult cell—is time consuming and inefficient. To speed things up, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) turned to kinase inhibitors. These chemical compounds block the activity of kinases, enzymes responsible for many aspects of cellular communication, survival, and growth. As they outline in a paper published September 25 in Nature Communications, the team found several kinase inhibitors that, when added to starter cells, help generate many more iPSCs than the standard method. This new capability will likely speed up research in many fields, better enabling scientists around the world to study human disease and develop new treatments.