Dept. of Cell Growth and Differentiation
Shin Kaneko (Professor)
Shin Kaneko M.D., Ph.D.
To realize iPS cell-based regenerative therapy, facilities and technologies are needed to produce iPS cells, and the differentiated cells derived from them, of sufficient quality for use in patient treatment. The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) operates the Facility for iPS cell Therapy (FiT), a cell-processing center which is equipped to carry out all operational stages from the generation of iPS cells to induction of differentiation in accordance with the standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Our operation of this facility and development of GMP culture technology supports a wide variety of projects, within CiRA and beyond, through cell processing operations ranging from generation of iPS cells for clinical use to induction of cell differentiation.
We are also engaged in research aimed at ensuring the safety of iPS cells and realizing immunotherapy by exploiting the special characteristics of iPS cells. T lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell whose functions are activated by antigen-specific recognition of target cells; the T cell receptors (TCR) which enable recognition of the target antigens are formed by gene rearrangement involving deletion of a genome sequence. However, iPS cells created by reprogramming T lymphocytes (T-iPS cells) retain the TCR gene sequence of the original T lymphocytes. We have established a method of inducing redifferentiation of rejuvenated cytotoxic T cells in large quantities from antigen-specific human T-iPS cells. As well as continuing with research to bring this technology to the clinical stage, we are progressing with research to achieve redifferentiation of the numerous other T lymphocyte subsets from antigen-specific T lymphocytes and to exploit the special characteristics of each subset for the development of immune regenerative therapy. To improve the safety of iPS cell therapy, we are continuing the development of a system to eliminate cancerous cells using selective cell death-inducing genes.
Through these research projects, our aim is to contribute to making regenerative therapy a reality and to improving therapeutic outcomes.