. Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts to Neurons by Reprogramming PTB-Regulated MicroRNA Circuits. Cell. 2013 Jan 9; PubMed.

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  1. This is a very exciting paper and represents an important advance in the trans-differentiation field. This offers an alternative and simpler method for generating neuronal cells from other cell lineages. The authors' finding that suppression of PTB expression has neurogenic effects in a few cell lines, including mouse embryonic fibroblasts, is unexpected. The genomic mechanism data are comprehensive and have possibly clarified previously reported neurogenic effects of miR-124 and miR-9/9* (Yoo et al., 2011). It is remarkable to see that PTB knockdown can upregulate miR-124 and also other pro-neuronal transcription factors. It will be interesting to extend the finding into human primary fibroblasts and subtype and/or lineage specification of neuronal cells or other cell types.

    References:

    . MicroRNA-mediated conversion of human fibroblasts to neurons. Nature. 2011 Aug 11;476(7359):228-31. PubMed.

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