New paper on iPS cell metabolomics: striking, yet incomplete metabolic reprogramming

I love collaborative science. I believe it advances science faster.

An example?

My lab recently collaborated with another lab here at UC Davis of Dr. Oliver Fiehn, a metabolomics guru.

iPS cell metabolimicsOur paper on this just came out in PLOS ONE here. Admittedly, we got scooped by another lab that published the first ever metabolomics paper on iPS cells (here), but still this is an exciting relatively new area for iPS cells and there’s a lot to learn.

Our goal was to study the metabolomics signatures of iPS cells and ES cells.

What’s the big picture story from this paper?

The data support the notion that during cellular reprogramming there is metabolic reprogramming that occurs during iPS cell formation.

But at least in the iPS cells we studied, the reprogramming of the metabolome wasn’t quite complete.  iPS cells and ES cells exhibited significant differences in phosphatidylcholines and in polyamine biosynthesis.

Interesting questions include whether incomplete metabolic reprogramming is an attribute of iPS cells more generally, and whether metabolic drugs or additives to media could stimulate better reprogramming.