Researchers of Johns Hopkins University have discovered a faster and efficient way of reprogramming adult stem cells to an embryonic stem cell like state which contains mutation associated with Sickle cell anemia.

According to them this method of reprogramming is much more faster and efficient than usual and it might speed the development of stem cell therapies.

During the research they found that viral protein called SV40 large T antigen, along with four genes can trigger cells to reprogram into embryonic-like stem cells.
This reprogramming can be done in 12 to 14 days, compared to three to four weeks when large T is not in use.

Moreover they found that “Not only T speeds up reprogramming, it also increases the total number of reprogrammed cells, which is great because often in reprogramming, not all cells go all the way,” said Linzhao Cheng, an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics, medicine and oncology, and a member of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.

Using this new method, researchers created embryonic like stem cells that contain the mutation which is responsible for sickle cell anemia.This method will help them study the mutated gene more clearly.

“We hope our new cell lines can open the door for researchers who study diseases like sickle cell anemia that are limited by the lack of good experimental models,” Linzhao Cheng, said in a prepared statement.