Volume 8.10 | Mar 13

ESC & iPSC News 8.10 March 13, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Genetic Correction of a LRRK2 Mutation in Human iPSCs Links Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration to ERK-Dependent Changes in Gene Expression
To better understand the link between mutant LRRK2 and Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathology, investigators derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from PD patients harboring LRRK2 G2019S and then specifically corrected the mutant LRRK2 allele. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Differentiation Doesn't Have to be Difficult. Get Easy, Standardized hPSC Differentiation
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Dynamic Association of NUP98 with the Human Genome
Investigators showed at a genome-wide level that the nuclear pore protein NUP98 associates with developmentally regulated genes active during human embryonic stem cell differentiation. [PLoS Genet]
Full Article

Cell-Laden Hydrogels in Integrated Microfluidic Devices for Long-Term Cell Culture and Tubulogenesis Assays
A hydrogel biochip combining microfluidic mixing and orthogonal supplementation strategies was developed and validated to allow facile generation of libraries of optically transparent 3D culture microenvironments. Live, on-chip tracing of embryonic stem cell differentiation and endothelial cell tubulogenesis confirmed that the platform can be used to both create communities of discrete 3D microenvironments as well as to locally monitor subsequent divergent responses at both single cell and multi-cell scales. [Small] Abstract

Structural and Functional Maturation of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers tested the hypothesis that prolonged in vitro culture of human embryonic and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes would result in the maturation of their structural and contractile properties to a more adult-like phenotype. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Nkx2-5 Mediates Differential Cardiac Differentiation through Interaction with Hoxa10
Investigators described a novel, transient and asymmetric cardiac-specific expression pattern of the posterior Hox genes, Hoxa9 and Hoxa10 and utilized the embryonic stem cell/embryoid body model system to illustrate that Hoxa10 impairs cardiac differentiation. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Cell-Type-Specific Predictive Network Yields Novel Insights into Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Cell Fate
Scientists aimed to clarify the molecular foundations of mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal by applying a proven Bayesian network machine learning approach to integrate high-throughput data for protein function discovery. [PLoS One] Full Article

Attenuation of Hind-Limb Ischemia in Mice with Endothelial-Like Cells Derived from Different Sources of Human Stem Cells
Researchers differentiated functional endothelial-like cells from human bone marrow mononuclear cells, human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, and compared their in vitro tube formation, migration and cytokine expression profiles, and in vivo capacity to attenuate hind-limb ischemia in mice. [PLoS One] Full Article

An RNA Tool Kit to Study the Status of Mouse ES Cells: Sex Determination and Stemness
The authors illustrated how a small set of key coding and non-coding RNAs can be exploited as dynamic and sensitive markers of the stemness and/or the differentiation status of male or female mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines. [Methods] Abstract

Oxygen-Controlled Automated Neural Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
This article describes, for the first time, an automation platform capable of maintaining oxygen tension control during both the cell-culture and liquid-handling stages of a 2D embryonic stem cell differentiation process. [Regen Med] Abstract

Epigenetic Reprogramming of Human Embryonic Stem Cells into Skeletal Muscle Cells and Generation of Contractile Myospheres
Researchers showed that selective absence of the SWI/SNF component BAF60C (encoded by SMARCD3) confers on human embryonic stem cells resistance to MyoD-mediated activation of skeletal myogenesis. [Cell Rep] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Homologous Recombination DNA Repair Genes Play a Critical Role in Reprogramming to a Pluripotent State
Investigators showed that the ectopic expression of reprogramming factors increases the level of phosphorylated histone H2AX, one of the earliest cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Additional mechanistic studies uncovered a direct role of the homologous recombination (HR) pathway, a pathway essential for error-free repair of DNA DSBs, in reprogramming. Finally, deletion of the tumor suppressor p53 rescues the reprogramming phenotype in HR-deficient cells primarily through the restoration of reprogramming-dependent defects in cell proliferation and apoptosis. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

New: STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit For Easy, Standardized hPSC Differentiation

REVIEWS
Leveling Waddington: The Emergence of Direct Programming and the Loss of Cell Fate Hierarchies
The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells and advances in direct cell fate conversion (also known as transdifferentiation) suggest that somatic and pluripotent cell fates can be interconverted without transiting through distinct hierarchies. The authors propose a non-hierarchical ‘epigenetic disc’ model to explain such cell fate transitions, which provides an alternative landscape for modeling cell programming and reprogramming. [Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol] Abstract

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SCIENCE NEWS
Cellular Dynamics Announces Presentations Demonstrating the Expanding Impact of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Human Cells on Toxicology Assay Development
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) announced scientific presentations that demonstrate the expanding utility of CDI’s iCell® products on toxicology assay development. [Press release from Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. discussing research presented at the Society of Toxicology’s 52nd Annual Meeting, San Antonio] Press Release
INDUSTRY NEWS

Cellectis and Stemgent Partner to Provide Custom Genome-Engineered Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Cellectis bioresearch announced a collaboration agreement with Stemgent, Inc. to provide research services that combines mRNA reprogramming technology and genome engineering. The partnership marries Cellectis bioresearch’s leadership in genome engineering with Stemgent’s expertise in cellular reprogramming. [Cellectis bioresearch] Press Release

BioTime and Romulus Agree to Accelerate Closing Date for Second Tranche of $5 Million Financing
BioTime, Inc. announced it has amended its $5 million Stock and Warrant Purchase Agreement with Romulus Films, Ltd. Through the amendment, BioTime and Romulus have agreed to accelerate the closing date for the $3 million second tranche of the $5 million financing. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

POLICY NEWS

Cora Marrett to Be Acting NSF Director
Cora Marrett will become acting director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) when Subra Suresh steps down. And while the temporary elevation of the veteran NSF administrator, now deputy director, comes as no surprise, some former directors are urging the White House to think seriously of giving her the job for real. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

Senate Spending Bill Would Help NSF Preserve Its Priorities
Senate Democrats are hoping to make it easier for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a handful of other federal science agencies to manage the impact of sequestration. The Senate’s approach would still result in a 5% cut to each agency’s budget. But NSF officials say it should give sufficient flexibility to honor funding commitments to current grantees, avoid furloughs, protect programs for young scientists, and continue work on large new facilities. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

EVENTS

NEW BioTherapeutics 2013
May 14-17, 2013
Stevenage, United Kingdom

NEW 11th Annual International Cord Blood Symposium
June 6-8, 2013
San Francisco, United States

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cardiovascular Stem Cell (Yale University, School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Research (University of Washington)

Lecturer or Reader – Associate Professor (University of Reading)


Postdoctoral Fellow – Pluripotent Stem Cells (Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa)

Transgenic Technologist (ETH Zurich)

Postdoctoral or Staff Scientist (The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center)

Research Scientist (Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)


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