Genomic instability in cultured stem cells: Associated risks and underlying mechanisms

Andrew L. Ross, Daniel E. Leder, Jonathan Weiss, Jan Izakovic, James M. Grichnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations


Embryonic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells expanded in vitro exhibit genomic instability. Commonly reported abnormalities include aneuploidy, deletions and duplications (including regions also amplified in cancer). Genomic instability confers an increased risk of malignant transformation that may impact the safety of cultured stem cell transplantation. Possible mechanisms responsible for this genomic instability include DNA repair mechanism abnormalities, telomere crisis, mitotic spindle abnormalities and inappropriate induction of meiotic pathways. Prior to widespread use of these cells in regenerative medicine, it will be critical to gain an understanding of the mechanisms responsible for genomic instability to develop strategies to prevent the accrual of chromosomal defects during expansion in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-662
Number of pages10
JournalRegenerative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • aneuploidy
  • B-Myb
  • chromosomal instability
  • embryonic stem cell
  • induced pluripotent stem cell
  • meiomitosis
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Embryology

Cite this

Ross, A. L., Leder, D. E., Weiss, J., Izakovic, J., & Grichnik, J. M. (2011). Genomic instability in cultured stem cells: Associated risks and underlying mechanisms. Regenerative Medicine, 6(5), 653-662.