Direct reprogramming of oral epithelial cells into mesenchymal cells


The epithelial cell cushions of the molasses derived from the periodontal ligament were transformed into progenitor-like cells by stimulation by epigenetic factors.

Then, progenitor stem cells were differentiated directly into endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts that form the periodontal ligament.


Stem cells derived from dental pulp or periodontal ligament have been used in regenerative dentistry. Although it is relatively easy to collect stem cells from dental pulp, it is difficult to obtain sufficient numbers of good quality cells; A steady supply is required for their application in regenerative dentistry. In this study, we generated trunk-like cells from ERM cells in the periodontal ligament using epigenetic modifications without gene transfer. Progenitor stem cells were differentiated into endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and osteoblasts – which form the periodontal ligament – using a direct reprogramming method that stimulates progenitor stem cell differentiation into target cells.

Methods and results

Isolated ERM cells were induced to differentiate into stem cell-like stem cells, after stimulation by epigenetic agents, 5-azacytidine and Valproic acid, for 1 week. Progenitor stem cells expressed NANOG and OCT3 / 4 protein stem cell markers, which were also observed in iPS cells (Fig.1).

Progenitor cells have been differentiated into endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and osteoblasts. The expression of the specific marker was confirmed for each cell type (Figs 2 and 3).

future prospects

The results of this study may contribute to the development of a new gum regeneration treatment. Epigenetic factors have been successfully applied to many human diseases, including cancers. However, more investigations are needed to confirm the results of this study.


Research grants

This research was supported by the Assistance Grant to Early Career Scientists from the Japan Association for the Promotion of Science (No. 18K17091).

Press information

Squeezes; Scientific Reports

title; Direct reprogramming of epithelial cells from malassezia to mesenchymal cells by epigenetic factors

The authors; Kuki Yoshida, Osamu Uehara, Yoshihito Kurashige, Durga Podil, Aya Onishi, Pooja Newban, Daiichi Hiiraki, Tetsuro Morikawa, Fumya Harada, Rei Takai, John Sato, Masato Saitoh, Yoshihiro Abiko *. (*; Correspondent writer)

Online posting date and ban; January 20, 2021 at 10 am (UK time).

DOI. 10.1038 / s41598-020-79426-4


About the search

Yoshihiro Abiko, BSc, Ph.D., Ph.D., Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, Department of Human Biology and Pathology, College of Dentistry, University of Health Sciences in Hokkaido, 1757 Kanazawa, Ishikari Tobitsu, Hokkaido, 061-0293, Japan

Phone + 81-133-23-1390; Fax. + 81-133-23-1390 Email: [email protected]

Public relations

International Center for Education and Exchange, Hokkaido University of Health Sciences, 1757 Kanazawa, Ishikari tobetsu, Hokkaido, 061-0293, Japan

Tel. + 81-133-23-1211: e-mail: [email protected]

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