Selected small molecules as inductors of pluripotent stem cells

  • Małgorzata Baranek Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Science
  • Wojciech T Markiewicz
  • Jan Barciszewski


The general idea of regenerative medicine is to fix or replace tissues or organs with alive and patient-specific implants. Pluripotent stem cells are capable of indefinite self-renewal and differentiation into all cell types of body with origin from the three germ layers of the developing embryo, therefore they have a potential to play a substantial role in regenerative medicine. Easily accessible source of induced pluripotent stem cells may allow obtaining and culturing tissues in vitro. Many improvements in the methods leading to obtain such cells have been made by various research groups in order to limit immunogenicity and tumorigenesis, increase efficiency and accelerate kinetics. One of the approaches affecting pluripotency is usage of small molecule compounds including RNA-derivatives – nucleosides analogues. It would be great to assess general character of such molecules and reveal their new derivatives or modifications to improve induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) reprogramming efficiency. Understanding the epigenetic changes during cellular reprogramming will extend understanding of stem cell biology and lead to potential therapeutic approaches. In this digest of compounds found in literature as proven or putative inductors of cells’ reprogramming to pluripotency there are compounds that may substitute for transgenic nucleic acids delivery in order to improve time and efficiency of reprogramming. Nucleic acids’ derivatives or modifications of particular atoms or substitutes influence modulating activities of small molecules, especially their inhibiting activity.  Due to dosage-dependent effect of small molecules influence on genes, their application concentration needs to be strictly determined.