Volume 8.02 | Jan 16

ESC & iPSC News 8.02 January 16, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Next Steps in Potential Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes
There are currently two ways of generating endocrine cells from human embryonic stem cells, or hESCs: either generating the cells in vitro in culture or transplanting immature endocrine cell precursors into mice. Researchers looked at the differences and similarities between these two types of hESC-derived endocrine cell populations and primary human endocrine cells, with the longer-term goal of developing new stem cell therapies for diabetes. [Press release from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract

New: Directed Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells. A Cell Stem Cell Poster
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts to Neurons by Reprogramming PTB-Regulated MicroRNA Circuits
Researchers report that repression of a single RNA binding polypyrimidine-tract-binding (PTB) protein, which occurs during normal brain development via the action of miR-124, is sufficient to induce trans-differentiation of fibroblasts into functional neurons. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Selective Elimination of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells by an Oleate Synthesis Inhibitor Discovered in a High-Throughput Screen
Investigators performed a high-throughput screen of over 52,000 small molecules and identified 15 pluripotent cell-specific inhibitors (PluriSIns), nine of which share a common structural moiety. The PluriSIns selectively eliminated human pluripotent stem cells while sparing a large array of progenitor and differentiated cells. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Timothy Syndrome Is Associated with Activity-Dependent Dendritic Retraction in Rodent and Human Neurons
Scientists report that channels with the Timothy syndrome alteration cause activity-dependent dendrite retraction in rat and mouse neurons and in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from individuals with Timothy syndrome. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Derivation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using a Post-Inner Cell Mass Intermediate
Researchers provide a detailed (seven-day) protocol for the culture of the human preimplantation embryos in order to derive the post-inner cell mass intermediate (PICMI). Subsequent identification and cryopreservation of the PICMI are described, in addition to human embryonic stem cell derivation. [Nat Protoc] Abstract

Factors Expressed by Murine Embryonic Pancreatic Mesenchyme Enhance Generation of Insulin-Producing Cells from hESCs
Researchers identified a set of signaling factors expressed in mouse embryonic mesenchyme during the time when foregut and pancreatic progenitors are specified and tested their activities during in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). [Diabetes] Abstract

Canonical Wnt Signaling Induces a Primitive Endoderm Metastable State in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
To investigate the role of canonical Wnt signaling in pluripotency and lineage specification, researchers expressed Wnt3a in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and characterized them in growth and differentiation. They found that activated canonical Wnt signaling induced the formation of a reversible metastable primitive endoderm state in mESCs. [Stem Cells] Abstract | Full Article

An Oct4-pRB Axis, Controlled by MiR-335, Integrates Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Cell Cycle Control
Investigators present a new regulatory circuit that connects miR-335, Oct4 and the Retinoblastoma pathway to control mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Ectodermal Precursor Cells Contribute to Hair Follicle Morphogenesis In Vivo
Ectodermal precursor cells with the capacity to crosstalk with hair inductive dermal cells were generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells and assessed for hair follicle forming ability in vivo. [J Invest Dermatol] Abstract

Endothelial Reconstitution by CD34+ Progenitors Derived from Baboon Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers used a large non-human primate model, the baboon, to establish a step-wise protocol to generate CD34+ endothelial progenitor cells from embryonic stem cells and to demonstrate their reparative effects. [J Cell Mol Med] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

The L-Type Ca2+ Channels Blocker Nifedipine Represses Mesodermal Fate Determination in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
The authors examined the contribution of L-type Ca2+ channels and the effect of nifedipine on the commitment of pluripotent stem cells toward the cardiac lineage in vitro. [PLoS One] Full Article

Differentiation Doesn't Have to be Difficult. Get Easy, Standardized hPSC Differentiation

REVIEWS
Generating Insulin-Producing Cells for Diabetic Therapy: Existing Strategies and New Development
Since the initial induction of insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem (ES) cells in 1999, several strategies and alternative cell sources have been developed to generate β-like cells, including direct differentiation from ES cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, proliferation of existing adult β-cells, and reprogramming of non-pancreatic adult stem/mature cells or pancreatic non-β-cells to β-like-cells. The authors briefly review the most relevant studies for each strategy, and discuss the comparative merits and drawbacks. [Ageing Res Rev] Abstract

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SCIENCE NEWS
Stem Cells May Hold Promise for Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Apparent stem cell transplant success in mice may hold promise for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The study found that stem cell transplantation significantly extended the lifespan of the mice by 20 days and improved their neuromuscular function by 15 percent. For the study, mice with an animal model of ALS were injected with human neural stem cells taken from human induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from the American Academy of Neurology discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting, San Diego] Press Release
INDUSTRY NEWS

Genea Stem Cells (GSC): 25 New Disease Specific Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Placed on the NIH Registry
Genea Stem Cells Pty Ltd announced that 25 of its disease specific embryonic pluripotent stem cell lines have been placed on the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) human stem cell registry. These embryonic stem cell lines are now all available commercially for use in medical research. [Business Wire] Press Release

BioTime Submits Protocol for Initiation of Human Clinical Trials of Renevia™ in Europe
BioTime, Inc. announced it has submitted a Clinical Investigation Protocol to European regulatory authorities for approval to initiate studies for its Renevia™ stem cell delivery platform. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

POLICY NEWS

Japan Stimulus to Boost Science
Japan’s government approved a plan to spend $116 billion to jump-start the economy and set the stage for long-term growth. Sources in the Japanese press are hinting that research on renewable energy and on stem cells could land a significant chunk of the new cash. [Japanese Government, Japan] Press Release

Surprise Choices Mark New Leadership on U.S. House Science Panel
High turnover is not unusual within the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, which ranks low on the totem pole of powerful committees. Even so, Representative Lamar Smith, the new chair of the full 40-member committee, has made some surprising decisions in selecting the chairpersons of the panel’s six subcommittees. [House of Representatives, United States] Press Release

EVENTS

NEW British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) Conference 2013
April 17-19, 2013
London, United Kingdom

NEW Gordon Research Conferences: Tissue Repair & Regeneration
June 16-21, 2013
New London, United States

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist or Engineer – hPSC Bioengineer (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Senior QC Analyst/Assay Development Associate (StemCells, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship – Stem Cell Biology (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health)

Postdoctoral Position – Cardiovascular Regenerative Therapies (University of California, Los Angeles)

Senior Postdoctoral Position (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Biology)

Postdoctoral Scientist (Medical Research Council [National Institute for Medical Research])

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Stem Cell Biology and iPS Disease Modeling (Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – iPS Cell Biology (National University of Singapore, Life Sciences Institute)


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