Volume 8.23 | Jun 12

ESC & iPSC News 8.23 June 12, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Researchers Discover a New Liver Cell that Shows Promise for Cellular Therapy for Liver Regeneration
Investigators discovered that a human embryonic stem cell can be differentiated into a previously unknown liver progenitor cell, an early offspring of a stem cell, and produce mature and functional liver cells. [Press release from The Mount Sinai Hospital discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]
Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Proteomic and Genomic Approaches Reveal Critical Functions of H3K9 Methylation and Heterochromatin Protein-1γ in Reprogramming to Pluripotency
Scientists found that induced pluripotent stem cells, compared with both the starting fibroblasts and a late reprogramming intermediate, are enriched for histone modifications associated with active chromatin, and depleted for marks of transcriptional elongation and a subset of repressive modifications including H3K9me2/me3. [Nat Cell Biol] Abstract

Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived CD166+ Precursors Develop into Fully Functional Sinoatrial-Like Cells
Investigators explored the possibility to use CD166 expression for isolating sinoatrial node (SAN) progenitors from differentiating embryonic stem cells. They demonstrated for the first time the isolation of a non-teratogenic population of cardiac precursors able to mature and form a fully functional SAN-like tissue. [Circ Res] Abstract

USF1 and hSET1A Mediated Epigenetic Modifications Regulate Lineage Differentiation and HoxB4 Transcription
The authors report that the recruitment of the hSET1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex by transcription factor USF1 is required for mesoderm specification and lineage differentiation. In undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, USF1 maintains hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell associated bivalent chromatin domains and differentiation potential. [PLoS Genet] Full Article

TRF1 Is a Stem Cell Marker and Is Essential for the Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators generated a reporter mouse carrying a knock-in eGFP-TRF1 fusion allele to study the role of TRF1 in stem cell biology and tissue homeostasis. They showed that TRF1 is necessary for both induction and maintenance of pluripotency, and that TRF1 is a direct transcriptional target of Oct3/4. [Nat Commun] Abstract | Press Release

Zscan4 Restores the Developmental Potency of Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers showed that increasing the frequency of Zscan4 activation in mouse embryonic stem cells restores and maintains their developmental potency in long-term cell culture. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Kinetics and Epigenetics of Retroviral Silencing in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Defined by Deletion of the D4Z4 Element
Using FLP recombinase to induce deletion of 3'D4Z4 from the provirus in embryonic stem cell clones, researchers established retroviral silencing at many but not all integration sites. This finding shows that 3'D4Z4 does not target retrovirus integration into favorable epigenomic domains but rather protects the transgene from silencing. [Mol Ther] Full Article

Developing High-Fidelity Hepatotoxicity Models from Pluripotent Stem Cells
Pluripotent stem cells were differentiated to hepatocytes before being replated onto a synthetic surface. The approach yielded metabolically active hepatocyte populations that displayed stable function for more than two weeks in vitro. The authors report that pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes will model toxicity predictably and in a manner comparable to current gold standard assays, representing a major advance in the field. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Totipotent Embryonic Stem Cells Arise in Ground-State Culture Conditions
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintained with inhibitors of MEK and GSK3 (2i) are thought to represent an embryonically restricted ground state. However, investigators observed heterogeneous expression of the extraembryonic endoderm marker Hex in 2i-cultured embryos, suggesting that 2i blocked development prior to epiblast commitment. Similarly, 2i ESC cultures were heterogeneous and contained a Hex-positive fraction primed to differentiate into trophoblast and extraembryonic endoderm. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

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Metabolism in Physiological Cell Proliferation and Differentiation
The role of metabolic regulation may extend beyond the provision of intermediates for the biosynthetic needs of proliferation, to affect cell differentiation. The authors bring together a large number of recent studies that support this suggestion and illustrate some of the mechanisms by which metabolism is linked to cell proliferation and differentiation. [Trends Cell Biol] Abstract

Pluripotency-Regulating Networks Provide Basis for Reprogramming
The reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells can be achieved by the ectopic expression of defined factors. Scientists review recent progress made in this field and show how a better understanding of the embryonic stem cell transcriptional network is important for efficient reprogramming. [Curr Mol Med] Abstract

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Health Center Researchers Awarded State Stem Cell Funds
Nine scientists at the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center received grant awards totaling $4.5 million from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program, making UConn the largest recipient of the $9.8 million total grants awarded this year. [University of Connecticut] Press Release

Sosei Announces Establishment of a Regenerative Medicine Fund
Sosei Group announced at the meeting of the Board of Directors that it resolved to invest in the regenerative medicine fund run by the newly-established subsidiary Sosei Corporate Venture Capital (Sosei CVC). Sosei Group will pursue a new venture through Sosei CVC. [Sosei Co. Ltd.] Press Release

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The Right to Care and the Expectations of Society-Controversial Stem Cell Therapy in Italy
A debate has started about a controversial stem cell therapy in Italy that exposes the difficult interaction between scientists, health care, doctors' duties and patients' rights. The case involves an experimental therapy based on adult mesenchymal stem cells that can differentiate into bone and connective tissue, and that were administered to a pediatric patient suffering from metachromatic leukodystrophy. [EMBO Reports] Press Release

US Scientists Chafe at Restrictions on New Stem-Cell Lines
The US National Institutes of Health, which distributes the majority of federal funding for stem-cell research, prohibits research on cells taken from embryos created solely for research - a category that includes the six stem-cell lines developed by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive-biology specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton, and his colleagues. [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Press Release

Fact Sheet: Impact of Sequestration on the National Institutes of Health
On March 1, 2013, as required by statute, President Obama signed an order initiating sequestration. The sequestration requires the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to cut 5 percent or $1.55 billion of its fiscal year 2013 budget. NIH must apply the cut evenly across all programs, projects, and activities, which are primarily NIH institutes and centers. This means every area of medical research will be affected. [National Institutes of Health, United States] Press Release

NEW TERMIS-AP 2013 Annual Conference
October 23-26, 2013
Shanghai and Wuzhen, China

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

NEW Early Stage Researcher - Effect of Oxidative Damage on hES Cells Signaling Pathways (Avantea, Laboratory of Reproductive Technologies)

NEW Director of Cell Processing Facility (S L Collins Associates, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow - Cancer Immunology (Medical University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Cardiovascular Stem Cell Medicine (University of Cambridge)

Postdoctoral Position - Anatomy & Embryology (Leiden University Medical Center)

Research Fellow - Cardiovascular Regenerative Applications (Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic)

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)

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