Volume 7.18 | May 9

ESC & iPSC News 7.18, May 9, 2012
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Stem Cells Poised to Self-Destruct for the Good of the Embryo
Embryonic stem cells are primed to kill themselves if damage to their DNA makes them a threat to the developing embryo. Researchers reveal how they do it. [Press release from the University of North Carolina Health Care System discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Human ES- and iPS-Derived Myogenic Progenitors Restore DYSTROPHIN and Improve Contractility upon Transplantation in Dystrophic Mice
Researchers applied conditional expression of PAX7 in human embryonic stem (ES)/induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to successfully derive large quantities of myogenic precursors, which, upon transplantation into dystrophic muscle, are able to engraft efficiently, producing abundant human-derived DYSTROPHIN-positive myofibers that exhibit superior strength. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Recurrent Variations in DNA Methylation in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells and Their Differentiated Derivatives
Results suggest that verification of baseline epigenetic status is critical for human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based disease models in which the observed phenotype depends on proper X chromosome inactivation (XCI) or imprinting and that tissue-specific DNA methylation patterns can be accurately modeled during directed differentiation of hPSCs, even in the presence of variations in XCI or imprinting. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Press Release

NuRD Suppresses Pluripotency Gene Expression to Promote Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Lineage Commitment
Researchers showed that the Nucleosome Remodeling and Deacetylation (NuRD) complex, which is required for embryonic stem cell (ESC) lineage commitment, modulates both transcriptional heterogeneity and the dynamic range of a set of pluripotency genes in ESCs. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract

RNF12 Controls Embryonic Stem Cell Fate and Morphogenesis in Zebrafish Embryos by Targeting Smad7 for Degradation
Researchers identified the RING domain-containing E3 ligase RNF12 as a critical component of TGF-ß signaling. Smad7 levels were increased in RNF12-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells, resulting in mitigation of both BMP-mediated repression of neural induction and activin-induced anterior mesoderm formation. [Mol Cell] Abstract

Defining the Integration Capacity of ES Cell-Derived Photoreceptor Precursors
Researchers concluded that exclusion of proliferative cells from embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived cultures is essential for effective transplantation. Despite showing expression profiles characteristic of immature photoreceptors, the ES cell-derived precursors generated using this protocol did not display transplantation competence equivalent to precursors from the postnatal retina. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Mechanism of Protein Kinase A-Dependent and Lipid-Raft Independent Stimulation of Connexin43 Expression by Oxytoxin in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers investigated the effect of oxytocin on connexin43 expression and related signaling cascades in mouse embryonic stem cells. [Mol Endocrinol] Abstract

Activin A Promotes Hematopoietic Fated Mesoderm Development through Up-Regulation of Brachyury in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists demonstrated the functional significance of Brachyury in the developmental program of hematopoietic differentiation from human embryonic stem cells and provided an in-depth understanding of the molecular cues that orchestrate step-wise development of hematopoiesis in a human system. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Functional Neuromuscular Junctions Formed by Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Motor Neurons
Researchers report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived motor neurons and muscle cells in vitro. [PLoS One] Full Article | Press Release

Lmx1a Regulates Dopamine Transporter Gene Expression during ES Cell Differentiation and Mouse Embryonic Development
Using an embryonic stem (ES) cell in vitro differentiation system and mutant dreher mouse, the authors showed that Lmx1a, an early regulator of midbrain dopamine neural progenitor phenotype specification, is also involved in the regulation of midbrain dopaminergic maturation by regulating gene expression of the dopamine transporter. [J Neurochem] Abstract

Maintenance of Feeder Free Anchorage Independent Cultures of ES and iPS Cells by Retinol/Vitamin A
The authors demonstrated that a small dietary compound retinol, the alcohol form of vitamin A has capacity to regulate the pluripotency of pluripotent stem cells and maintain highly enriched population of pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in feeder free suspension cultures. [J Cell Biochem] Abstract

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INDUSTRY NEWS

ACT Announces Massachusetts Eye and Ear as Additional Site for Clinical Trial for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration Using Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived RPE Cells
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that Massachusetts Eye and Ear has received institutional review board approval to be a site for the company’s Phase I/II clinical trial for dry age-related macular degeneration, using human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.] Press Release

UM’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute Awarded $10 Million Grant from Starr Foundation
The grant will support the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute in broadening its preclinical and clinical research on stem cells, and help accelerate its pipeline of translational research and programs for a wide range of debilitating conditions. [University of Miami Miller School of Medicine] Press Release

First Fellowships Awarded in New Canadian Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research Program
The first two postdoctoral research fellowships of a new program to promote stem cell research in Canada were announced by the program’s sponsors, Canada’s Stem Cell Network and Pfizer. [Stem Cell Network] Press Release

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2012: Stem Cell Based Therapy

POLICY NEWS

U.S. National Academy Gives Itself a Facelift
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences members took a big step toward changing their image by inviting a younger and more diverse group of scientists to join them. [National Academy of Sciences, United States] Press Release

Universities Clash by the Nile
An ambitious scheme to create Egypt’s first science city is finally becoming a reality, but a bitter property dispute is overshadowing enthusiasm for the technology park and university complex. [Egyptian Foundation for Technology Education, Egypt] Press Release

EVENTS

NEW Rat Embryonic Stem Cell Culture and Gene Targeting Workshop
September 17-19, 2012
Los Angeles, United States

NEW 3rd Annual “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Production and Utility in Regenerative Medicine”
October 4, 2012
London, United Kingdom

Visit
our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist – Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Epithelial Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Endothelial Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Associate – Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Associate – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist – Contract Assay Services (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Research (SPIN PhD College)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Induced Neurogenesis (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)

Stem Cell Researcher (BioTalentum Ltd.)

Research Scientist (Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology)


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