The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has created promising new avenues for therapies in regenerative medicine. However, the tumorigenic potential of undifferentiated iPSCs is a major safety concern for clinical translation. To address this issue, we demonstrated the efficacy of suicide gene therapy by introducing inducible caspase-9 (iC9) into iPSCs. Activation of iC9 with a specific chemical inducer of dimerization (CID) initiates a caspase cascade that eliminates iPSCs and tumors originated from iPSCs. We introduced this iC9/CID safeguard system into a previously reported iPSC-derived, rejuvenated cytotoxic T lymphocyte (rejCTL) therapy model and confirmed that we can generate rejCTLs from iPSCs expressing high levels of iC9 without disturbing antigen-specific killing activity. iC9-expressing rejCTLs exert antitumor effects in vivo. The system efficiently and safely induces apoptosis in these rejCTLs. These results unite to suggest that the iC9/CID safeguard system is a promising tool for future iPSC-mediated approaches to clinical therapy.
Ando, M., Nishimura, T., Yamazaki, S., Yamaguchi, T., Kawana-Tachikawa, A., Hayama, T., … Nakauchi, H. (2015). A safeguard system for induced pluripotent stem cell-derived rejuvenated T cell therapy. Stem Cell Reports, 5(4), 597–608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.07.011