Volume 8.19 | May 15

ESC & iPSC News 8.19 May 15, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Researchers Chart Epigenomics of Stem Cells that Mimic Early Human Development
In the first comprehensive analysis of epigenetic changes that occur during development, a multi-institutional group of scientists has discovered how modifications in key epigenetic markers influence human embryonic stem cells as they differentiate into specialized cells in the body. [Press release from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discussing online prepublication in Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer
Past attempts to produce human nuclear transfer (NT)-embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have failed secondary to early embryonic arrest of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. Investigators identified premature exit from meiosis in human oocytes and suboptimal activation as key factors that are responsible for these outcomes. Optimized SCNT approaches designed to circumvent these limitations allowed derivation of human NT-ESCs. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Dnmt2-Dependent Methylomes Lack Defined DNA Methylation Patterns
Researchers used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to analyze the methylomes of methyltransferase 2 (Dnmt2)-only organisms at single-base resolution. Genetically modified Dnmt2-only mouse embryonic stem cells lost the DNA methylation patterns found in wild-type cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Polycomb Determines Responses to Smad2/3 Signaling in Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation and in Reprogramming
Investigators showed that Polycomb imposes responses to Smad2 and Smad3 (Smad2/3) mediated signaling to selectively regulate expression of the master pluripotency factor Oct4 during initiation of differentiation, but not in the self-renewing pluripotent ground state. [Stem Cells] Abstract

InVERT Molding for Scalable Control of Tissue Microarchitecture
Scientists present an ‘Intaglio-Void/Embed-Relief Topographic molding’ method for microscale organization of many cell types, including induced pluripotent stem cell-derived progeny, within a variety of synthetic and natural extracellular matrices and across tissues of sizes appropriate for in vitro, pre-clinical, and clinical studies. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Prdm14 Promotes Germline Fate and Naive Pluripotency by Repressing FGF Signaling and DNA Methylation
Researchers demonstrated that Prdm14 contributes not only to primordial germ cell specification, but also to naive pluripotency in embryonic stem cells by repressing the DNA methylation machinery and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. [EMBO Rep] Full Article

Generation of Engraftable Hematopoietic Stem Cells from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by Way of Teratoma Formation
Investigators demonstrated a unique in vivo differentiation system yielding engraftable hematopoietic stem cells from mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells in teratoma-bearing animals in combination with a maneuver to facilitate hematopoiesis. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Supportive and Unsupportive Extracellular Matrix Substrates for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Maintenance
The authors used a proteomic approach to characterize in detail the composition and interaction networks of extracellular matrices that support the growth of self-renewing human embryonic stem cells. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Epigenetic Regulation of the Electrophysiological Phenotype of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Ventricular Cardiomyocytes: Insights for Driven Maturation and Hypertrophic Growth
Using human embryonic stem cells and their derived ventricular cardiomyocytes as a model, researchers examined trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 and lysine 27 on promoters of genes associated with cardiac electrophysiology, contraction and Ca2+-handling. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Use of “MGE Enhancers” for Labeling and Selection of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Medial Ganglionic Eminence (MGE) Progenitors and Neurons
Scientists described approaches to generate MGE-like progenitor cells from mouse embryonic stem cells. [PLoS One] Full Article

Myc Binds the Pluripotency Factor Utf1 through the Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Domain
In order to elucidate the function of Myc in the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal in mouse embryonic stem cells, researchers screened for novel embryonic stem cell-specific interactors of Myc by mass spectrometry. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

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Origins and Implications of Pluripotent Stem Cell Variability and Heterogeneity
The molecular contributors to functional variability and heterogeneity in both embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are only beginning to emerge, yet they are crucial to the future of the stem cell field. [Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol] Abstract

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SMi's Cell Culture Conference July 3-4, 2013 in London, United Kingdom

A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore Partners Oxford Biodynamics to Discover and Monitor Cells for Pathologies or Abnormalities
The Genome Institute of Singapore from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Oxford Biodynamics (OBD) will collaborate to identify epigenetic signatures utilizing OBD’s proprietary EpiSwitchTM biomarker discovery platform that can robustly differentiate or confirm the epigenetic footprint of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells or Progenitor Cells from representative cell lines. [Oxford Biodynamics Limited] Press Release

Pioneering Researchers Recognized for Scientific Achievements in Gene and Cell Therapy
The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) is honored to recognize Dr. Sonia Skarlatos, PhD, and Dr. Catherine McKeon, PhD as the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes an ASGCT Member or group that has consistently fostered and enhanced the field of genetic and cellular therapy. [American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy] Press Release

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NIH Details Impact of 2013 Sequester Cuts
After weeks of worrying about how the mandatory across-the-board 2013 budget cuts known as the sequester would play out at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the biomedical research community now has final figures. The bottom line is as grim as expected: The agency's overall budget will fall by $1.71 billion compared to 2012, to $29.15 billion, a cut of about 5%, according to an NIH notice. [National Institutes of Health, United States] Press Release

Pressure Builds on Congress to Kill NSF Bill
Several former top officials at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the chairs of its oversight body yesterday wrote to Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) urging him to withdraw a bill proposing changes to grant-making at the agency. That letter is signed by three previous NSF directors and three past chairs of the National Science Board, NSF's presidentially appointed oversight body. The second letter, from 18 scientists who once headed individual research directorates at the agency, also argues that many of NSF's most spectacular successes would not have qualified for funding under the terms of the legislation. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

Canada to Convert NRC into 'Toolbox' for Industry
After two years of flogging the need to transform Canada's National Research Council (NRC) into a toolbox for industry, the Conservative government announced that the 97-year-old agency is "open for business" under its new philosophy. Under the new policies, NRC scientists will tackle questions raised by individual businesses, while more basic research will be shuffled off to other departments or abandoned altogether. [National Research Council, Canada] Press Release

Russian Scientists Decry New International Funding Rules
Russian researchers are up in arms over a government decree issued which turns the process of issuing research grants into a bureaucratic nightmare for international foundations. The decree introduces new regulations according to which any organization that wants to award grants to Russian researchers must obtain permission from the Ministry of Education and Science for every grant. [Ministry of Education and Science, Russia] Press Release


EVENT SPONSOR MSC 2013 - Adult Stem Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine

MSC 2013 will offer a forum for the exchange and discussion of research, ideas, and cutting-edge breakthroughs in translational regenerative medicine.

August 19-21, 2013
Cleveland, United States

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


NEW Postdoctoral Research Fellowships - Embryonic Stem Cells, Epigenetics, and Gene Regulation (NIEHS, National Institutes of Health)

Postdoctoral Fellow - Stem Cell and Cancer Biology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Genomic Study of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models of Human Disease (Stanford University - Dept. of Cardiovascular Medicine)

Research Assistant - Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Ocular Stem Cells (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Positions - Stem Cells and Immunology (University of Connecticut)

Postdoctoral Position - Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (Masaryk University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Ocular Stem Cell (Buck Institute for Research on Aging)

Postdoctoral Position - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (Washington University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne)

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