In collaboration with Prof. Murayama and Dr. Endo (WRC), Dr. Okita (CiRA), and Dr. Ito (Kyoto City Zoo), we were able to generate Grevy’s zebra induced Pluripotent Stem Cells!
Abstract: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can serve as a biological resource for functional and conservation research for various species. This realisation has led to the generation of iPSCs from many species, including those identified as endangered. However, the understanding of species variation in mammalian iPSCs remains largely unknown. To gain insight into species variation in iPSCs, we generated iPSCs from a new species Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi; gz-iPSCs), which has been listed as endangered in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. We isolated primary fibroblast cells from an individual and successfully reprogrammed them into iPSCs. The generated gz-iPSCs continued to grow under primed-type culture condition and showed pluripotency and differentiation potential. To describe the molecular characteristics of gz-iPSCs, we performed RNA sequencing analysis. The gz-iPSC transcriptome showed robust expression of pluripotency associated genes reported in human and mouse, suggesting evolutionary conservation among the species. This study provides insight into the iPSCs from a rare species and helps the understanding of the gene expression basis underlying mammalian PSCs.