The West Laboratory at ISSCR 2011: Chimeras and Tumors
The West Lab presented some of their groundbreaking research focusing on tumorigenicity and developmental aspects of chimeric pigs derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. The poster raised a number of critical questions in the field including what aspects enable some iPSCs to be chimeric competent and others are not. The evolving discussion of chimeric competence revolved mostly around epigenetic changes that occur during the reprogramming process particularly the resetting of imprinting genes- genes from which alleles are differentially expressed based on parental origin. There was also significant talk on the differences in tumorigenicity between cell lines. Ultimately, these discussions highlighted the need for further research to fully ascertain what makes an iPSC chimeric competent and lowly tumorigenic.