Retinal Cell Type DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications Predict Reprogramming Efficiency and Retinogenesis in 3D Organoid Cultures

Lu Wang, Daniel Hiler, Beisi Xu, Issam AlDiri, Xiang Chen, Xin Zhou, Lyra Griffiths, Marc Valentine, Abbas Shirinifard, András Sablauer, Suresh Thiagarajan, Marie Elizabeth Barabas, Jiakun Zhang, Dianna Johnson, Sharon Frase, Michael A. Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Diverse cell types can be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells by ectopic expression of Oct4 (Pou5f1), Klf4, Sox3, and Myc. Many of these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) retain memory, in terms of DNA methylation and histone modifications (epigenetic memory), of their cellular origins, and this may bias subsequent differentiation. Neurons are difficult to reprogram, and there has not been a systematic side-by-side characterization of reprogramming efficiency or epigenetic memory across different neuronal subtypes. Here, we compare reprogramming efficiency of five different retinal cell types at two different stages of development. Retinal differentiation from each iPSC line was measured using a quantitative standardized scoring system called STEM-RET and compared to the epigenetic memory. Neurons with the lowest reprogramming efficiency produced iPSC lines with the best retinal differentiation and were more likely to retain epigenetic memory of their cellular origins. In addition, we identified biomarkers of iPSCs that are predictive of retinal differentiation. Wang et al. reprogram retinal cell types into iPSCs and test their ability to make retinal organoids. They discover an inverse correlation between reprogramming efficiency and retinal differentiation linked to DNA/chromatin modifications and nuclear organization. These data identify molecular markers of iPSC lines that are efficient at producing retina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2601-2614
Number of pages14
JournalCell Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 6 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Meis1
  • chromHMM
  • epigenetic memory
  • epigenetics
  • iPSCs
  • reprogramming
  • retina
  • retinal organoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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