Background: Application of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in regenerative medicine will bypass ethical issues associated with use of embryonic stem cells. In addition, patient-specific IPS cells can be useful to elucidate the pathophysiology of genetic disorders, drug screening, and tailor-made medicine. However, in order to apply iPS cells to mitotic tissue, induction of tissue stem cells that give rise to progeny of the target organ is required. Methodology/Principal Findings: We induced stratified epithelial cells from mouse iPS cells by co-culture with PA6 feeder cells (SDIA-method) with use of BMP4. Clusters of cells positive for the differentiation markers KRT1 or KRT12 were observed in KRT14-positive colonies. We successfully cloned KRT14 and p63 double-positive stratified epithelial progenitor cells from iPS-derived epithelial cells, which formed stratified epithelial sheets consisting of five- to six-polarized epithelial cells in vitro. When these clonal cells were cultured on denuded mouse corneas, a robust stratified epithelial layer was observed with physiological cell polarity including high levels of E-cadherin, p63 and K15 expression in the basal layer and ZO-1 in the superficial layer, recapitulating the apico-basal polarity of the epithelium in vivo. Conclusions/Significance: These results suggest that KRT14 and p63 double-positive epithelial progenitor cells can be cloned from iPS cells in order to produce polarized multilayer epithelial cell sheets.
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