Volume 10.29 | Aug 5

ESC & iPSC News 10.29 August 5, 2015
ESC & iPSC News
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From Pluripotency to Totipotency
Researchers studied the characteristics of totipotent cells of the embryo and found factors capable of inducing a totipotent-like state. When culturing pluripotent stem cells in vitro, a small amount of totipotent cells appear spontaneously; these are called “2C-like cells” (named after their resemblance to the 2-cell stage embryo). They compared these cells to those present in early embryos in order to find their common characteristics and those that make them different from pluripotent cells. [Press release from Inserm discussing online prepublication in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells to Muscle Fiber to Model Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Using presomitic mesoderm (PSM) development as a guide, researchers established conditions for the differentiation of monolayer cultures of mouse embryonic stem cells into PSM-like cells without the introduction of transgenes or cell sorting. [Nat Biotechnol] Abstract

Deterministic Restriction on Pluripotent State Dissolution by Cell-Cycle Pathways
In a high-throughput RNAi screen using an inclusive set of differentiation conditions, scientists identified centrally important and context-dependent processes regulating pluripotent state dissolution in human embryonic stem cells, including histone acetylation, chromatin remodeling, RNA splicing, and signaling pathways. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Automated, High-Throughput Derivation, Characterization and Differentiation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The authors describe a modular, robotic platform for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming enabling automated, high-throughput conversion of skin biopsies into iPSCs and differentiated cells with minimal manual intervention. They demonstrated that automated reprogramming and pooled selection of polyclonal pluripotent cells resulted in high-quality, stable iPSCs. [Nat Methods] Abstract | Press Release

Ground State Conditions Induce Rapid Reorganization of Core Pluripotency Factor Binding before Global Epigenetic Reprogramming
Investigators showed that 2i conditions rapidly alter the global binding landscape of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG. The dynamic binding influenced enhancer activity and showed enrichment for regulators linked to Wnt and Erk signaling. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

α-5 Laminin Synthesized by Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Promotes Self-Renewal
The authors identified α-5 laminin as a signature extracellular matrix component endogenously synthesized by undifferentiated human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) cultured on defined substrates. Inducible shRNA knockdown and Cas9-mediated disruption of the LAMA5 gene dramatically reduced hPSC self-renewal and increased apoptosis without affecting the expression of pluripotency markers. [Stem Cell Rep]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

ETS-Related Transcription Factors ETV4 and ETV5 Are Involved in Proliferation and Induction of Differentiation-Associated Genes in ES Cells
The authors showed that the ETS-related transcription factors ETV4 and ETV5 (ETV4/5) are specifically expressed in undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells, and suppression of Oct3/4 results in down-regulation of ETV4/5. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

P53 Regulates Rapid Apoptosis in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators explored the underlying mechanism(s) for the increased apoptotic sensitivity of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that helps to determine pluripotent stem cell fate. They showed that hPSCs are more sensitive to all three types of apoptosis induction than are lineage non-specific, retinoic acid differentiated hPSCs. [J Mol Biol] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes from Efficiently Generated Human iPSCs and a Novel Method of Measuring Contractility
The authors report a highly efficient combination of DNA and mRNA to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and functional induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from adult human cells. [PLoS One] Full Article

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iPS Cell Technology for Dissecting the Cancer Epigenome
Cellular reprogramming technology can be used to actively modify the epigenome without affecting the underlying genomic sequences. The authors introduce recent studies that utilized this property for cancer research. They propose that just as it has potential for regenerative medicine and disease modeling, cell reprogramming could also be a powerful tool for dissecting the role of the cancer epigenome on the development and maintenance of cancer cells. [Cancer Sci] Abstract

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Minerva Biotechnologies Granted Worldwide License to iPS Technology
Minerva Biotechnologies and iPS Academia Japan, Inc. announced that they have signed an agreement granting Minerva worldwide rights to use and commercialize the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells patent portfolio arising from the work of Professor Shinya Yamanaka, MD, Ph.D. [Minerva Biotechnologies] Press Release

Oncologist to Lead Stem Cell Trial for AIDS-Related Lymphoma
The state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, approved funding a UC Davis Health System research team to conduct a clinical trial using bioengineered stem cells to treat HIV patients suffering from lymphoma, one of the deadly conditions associated with the disease. [UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center] Press Release

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Judge Rules Research Chimps Are Not ‘Legal Persons’
A state judge in New York has dealt the latest blow to an animal rights group’s attempt to have chimpanzees declared “legal persons.” In a decision handed down this morning, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled that two research chimps at Stony Brook University are not covered by a writ of habeas corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Senate Panel Approves Public Access Bill
Open-access advocates are heralding a Senate panel’s approval today of a bill that would require U.S. science agencies to make the peer-reviewed research papers they fund freely available to the public. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
NEW ISCBC 2015: International Stem Cell Biology Conference
October 11-12, 2015
Osaka, Japan

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NEW Advanced Research Assistant – Gene Targeting (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

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

Head of Research – Cellular Operations (Welcome Trust Sanger Institute)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Epigenetics (Institute of Molecular Biology Mainz)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biophysics (University Paris Diderot)

Research Fellow – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (National Cancer Center Singapore)

Postdoctoral Positions – Human ES & iPS Cells and Heart Regenerative Medicine (University of Pittsburgh)

MICA Stem Cell Scientist (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency)

Stem Cell Scientist (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurology (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

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