Generation of patient-specific induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) holds great promise for regenerative medicine. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immortalized lymphoblastoid B cell lines (LCLs) can be generated from a minimal amount of blood and are banked worldwide as cellular reference material for immunological or genetic analysis of pedigreed study populations. We report the generation of iPSCs from two LCLs (LCL-iPSCs) via a feeder-free episomal method using a cocktail of transcription factors and small molecules. LCL-derived iPSCs exhibited normal karyotype, expressed pluripotency markers, lost oriP/EBNA-1 episomal vectors, generated teratomas, retained donor identity and differentiated in vitro into hematopoietic, cardiac, neural and hepatocyte-like lineages. Significantly, although the parental LCLs express viral EBNA-1 and other EBV latency related elements for their survival, their presence was not detectable in LCL-iPSCs. Thus reprogramming LCLs could offer an unlimited source for patient-specific iPSCs.

  • Submitted January 24, 2011.
  • Accepted June 12, 2011.