Induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) reprogrammed from somatic cells have great potentials in cell replacement therapies and in vitro modeling of neural diseases. Direct conversion of fibroblasts into iNSCs has been shown to depend on a couple of key neural progenitor transcription factors (TFs), raising the question of whether such direct reprogramming can be achieved by non-neural progenitor TFs. Here we report that the non-neural progenitor TF Ptf1a alone is sufficient to directly reprogram mouse and human fibroblasts into self-renewable iNSCs capable of differentiating into functional neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, and improving cognitive dysfunction of Alzheimer’s disease mouse models when transplanted. The reprogramming activity of Ptf1a depends on its Notch-independent interaction with Rbpj which leads to subsequent activation of expression of TF genes and Notch signaling required for NSC specification, self-renewal, and homeostasis. Together, our data identify a non-canonical and safer approach to establish iNSCs for research and therapeutic purposes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)