Volume 10.15 | Apr 22

ESC & iPSC News 10.15 April 22, 2015
ESC & iPSC News
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Viral Proteins May Regulate Human Embryonic Development
Researchers have shown that viral proteins are abundantly present in the developing human embryo and assemble into what appear to be viral particles. By following up with studies in human embryonic cells grown in vitro, they showed that these viral proteins affect gene expression in the developing embryo and may protect the cells from infection by other viruses. [Press release from Stanford University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Pioneer Transcription Factors Target Partial DNA Motifs on Nucleosomes to Initiate Reprogramming
The authors compared the nucleosome and chromatin targeting activities of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, which together reprogram somatic cells to pluripotency. Purified Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 proteins can bind nucleosomes in vitro, and in vivo they preferentially target silent sites enriched for nucleosomes. [Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Opposing Roles for the lncRNA Haunt and Its Genomic Locus in Regulating HOXA Gene Activation during Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation
Investigators demonstrated discrete and opposing roles for the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcript Haunt and its genomic locus in regulating the HOXA gene cluster during embryonic stem cell differentiation.
[Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Myc and SAGA Rewire an Alternative Splicing Network during Early Somatic Cell Reprogramming
Scientists performed a functional RNAi screen to identify the earliest epigenetic regulators required for reprogramming. They identified components of the SAGA histone acetyltransferase complex, in particular Gcn5, as critical regulators of reprogramming initiation. [Genes Dev] Abstract

Foxp1-Mediated Programming of Limb-Innervating Motor Neurons from Mouse and Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrated that limb-innervating lateral motor column spinal motor neurons can be efficiently generated from mouse and human embryonic stem cells through manipulation of the transcription factor Foxp1. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Functional and Mechanistic Studies of XPC DNA-Repair Complex as Transcriptional Coactivator in Embryonic Stem Cells
The authors provide novel insights into transcriptional regulation of the stem cell state by characterizing interactions between key transcription factors SOX2 and OCT4, and a multifunctional, stem cell coactivator—the xeroderma pigmentosum, complementation group C (XPC) DNA repair complex—to control pluripotency gene-expression networks. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Mitofusins Deficiency Elicits Mitochondrial Metabolic Reprogramming to Pluripotency
Researchers showed that depleting p53 and p21, which are barriers to reprogramming, yields a high reprogramming efficiency. Deletion of these factors results in a distinct mitochondrial background with low expression of oxidative phosphorylation subunits and mitochondrial fusion proteins, including mitofusin 1 and 2. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

Defining Minimum Essential Factors to Derive Highly Pure Human Endothelial Cells from iPS/ES Cells in an Animal Substance-Free System
Investigators developed a way to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells to highly pure endothelial cells in five days. The chemically defined system is robust, easy to perform, and free of animal substances. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Pluripotent and Metabolic Features of Two Types of Porcine iPSCs Derived from Defined Mouse and Human ES Cell Culture Conditions
Scientists found that culture conditions affected pluripotent and metabolic features of porcine pluripotent induced stem cells (iPSCs). Using defined human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) culture conditions, they generated two types of porcine iPSCs, one of which was morphologically similar to hESCs, the other resembled mESCs. [PLoS One] Full Article

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Direct Cardiac Reprogramming: Progress and Challenges in Basic Biology and Clinical Applications
The authors review the progress in direct reprogramming research and discuss the perspectives and challenges of this nascent technology in basic biology and clinical applications. [Circ Res]
Full Article

MicroRNA-Mediated Regulation of Differentiation and Trans-differentiation in Stem Cells
The authors describe key features of miRNA biogenesis and their role in regulating self-renewal, and then discuss the involvement of miRNAs in the determination of cell fate decisions. They highlight the role of miRNAs in the emergent field of reprogramming and trans-differentiation of somatic cells that could further our understanding of miRNA biology and regenerative medicine applications. [Adv Drug Deliv Rev.]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

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CiRA and Takeda Enter Ten-Year Collaboration on iPS Cell Research
The Center for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced that they will work together to develop clinical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in areas such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders and cancer immunotherapy. [Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.] Press Release

BioTime Licenses Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope to Manufacture Clinical Grade Stem Cells
BioTime, Inc. announced a nonexclusive License Agreement between ES Cell International Pte Ltd (ESI) and Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope through which ESI’s clinical-grade human embryonic stem (hES) cells will be manufactured and provided to medical research organizations intent on using the hES cells to develop and commercialize therapeutic products to treat human disease. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

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Germany’s Researchers Welcome €5-Billion Funding Boost
Germany’s ruling political parties have agreed to plow €5 billion more into science from 2018 to 2028. [Nature News] Editorial

Controversy Awaits as House Republicans Roll Out Long-Awaited Bill to Revamp U.S. Research Policy
The science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step in its two-year effort to reshape federal research policy, introducing a long-awaited and controversial bill that covers the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, research at the Department of Energy, and federal science education policy. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
NEW Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress USA
September 2-3, 2015
Washington D.C., United States

NEW The 2015 Tissue Engineering Congress
September 8-10, 2015
London, United Kingdom

NEW Cell Symposia Meeting, Stem Cell Epigenetics
September 20-22, 2015
Sitges, Spain

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow: Epithelial Stem Cells & Membrane Trafficking (New York University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Stem Cells & Epigenetics (National Institutes of Health)

Scientist – Reprogramming and Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology Endoderm Lineages (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation (Barcelona Centre for Regenerative Medicine)

Stem Cell Culture Scientist (Paramount Recruitment)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Stem Cells & Epigenetics (National Institutes of Health)

PhD Position – Early Human Brain Development Modeling with hiPSCs (University of Bonn)

Postdoctoral Position – Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Study Metabolism and Gene Expression Regulating Neural Tube Development (Joslin Diabetes Center)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Stem Cell Engineering (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Postdoctoral Position – Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (hiPSCs) and the Peripheral Nervous System (Inserm)

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