Volume 8.24 | Jun 19

ESC & iPSC News 8.24 June 19, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
iPSC-Derived β Cells Model Diabetes Due to Glucokinase Deficiency
To determine whether stem cell-derived β cells recapitulate molecular-physiological phenotypes of a diabetic subject, scientists generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from subjects with maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 2, which is characterized by heterozygous loss of function of the gene encoding glucokinase. [J Clin Invest] Full Article | Press Release

Directed Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells - A Cell Stem Cell Poster
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Induction of a Hemogenic Program in Mouse Fibroblasts
Definitive hematopoiesis emerges during embryogenesis via an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition. Researchers attempted to induce this process in mouse fibroblasts by screening a panel of factors for hemogenic activity. They identified a combination of four transcription factors, Gata2, Gfi1b, cFos, and Etv6, that efficiently induces endothelial-like precursor cells, with the subsequent appearance of hematopoietic cells. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Immunologic and Chemical Targeting of the Tight-Junction Protein Claudin-6 Eliminates Tumorigenic Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators identified the tight-junction protein Claudin-6 as a cell-surface-specific marker of human pluripotent stem cells that can be used to selectively remove Claudin-6-positive cells from mixed cultures. They showed that Claudin-6 is absent in adult tissues but highly expressed in undifferentiated cells, where it is dispensable for human pluripotent stem cell survival and self-renewal. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Stimulation of Somatic Cell Reprogramming by Eras-Akt-Foxo1 Signaling Axis
The authors report that a tumor- or embryonic stem cell (ESC)-specific Ras gene ERas, which encodes a constitutively active form of GTPase, and its downstream Phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway are important facilitators for the somatic reprogramming process. They found that overexpression of ERas retrovirally enhanced mouse induced pluripotent stem cell induction while ERas knockdown repressed it. [Stem Cells] Abstract | Full Article

Defined Extracellular Matrix Components Are Necessary for Definitive Endoderm Induction
Soluble differentiation factors are known to increase extracellular matrix (ECM) expression, yet ECM's ability to direct embryonic stem cell (ESC) fate is not well understood. To address the extent to which these proteins regulate differentiation when assembled into a matrix, researchers examined mouse ESC embryoid bodies and found that their ability to maintain pluripotency marker expression was impaired by soluble serum fibronectin. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Modeling Dravet Syndrome Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and Directly Converted Neurons
Investigators established iPSC lines from one severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI, also known as Dravet Syndrome) patient and one genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus patient, respectively. Functional glutamatergic neurons were subsequently differentiated from these iPSCs. [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

Maturation and Function of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Pancreatic Progenitors in Macroencapsulation Devices following Transplant into Mice
Scientists previously demonstrated that human embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cells matured under the kidney capsule in a mouse model of diabetes into glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells capable of reversing diabetes. However, the formation of cells resembling bone and cartilage was a major limitation of that study. Therefore, they developed an improved differentiation protocol that aimed to prevent the formation of off-target mesoderm tissue following transplantation. [Diabetologia] Abstract

HMGN1 Modulates Nucleosome Occupancy and DNase I Hypersensitivity at the CpG Island Promoters of Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers showed that HMGN1, a nucleosome binding protein ubiquitously expressed in vertebrate cells, preferentially binds to CpG island-containing promoters, and affects the organization of nucleosomes, DNaseI hypersensitivity, and the transcriptional profile of mouse embryonic stem cells and neural progenitors. [Mol Cell Biol] Abstract | Full Article

The Epigenetic Modifier Ubiquitin Specific Protease 22 (Usp22) Regulates Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation via Transcriptional Repression of Sex Determining Region Y-box 2 (Sox2)
The authors report that the histone ubiquitin hydrolase Usp22 is a critical epigenetic modifier that controls this transition from self-renewal to differentiation. Usp22 is induced as embryonic stem cells differentiate and is necessary for differentiation into all three germ layers. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Induce Neural Progenitor Cells Faster and More Effectively - Watch New Technical Video
REVIEWS
Investigation of Rett Syndrome Using Pluripotent Stem Cells
In this review, the authors update the current of induced pluripotent stem cell-based Rett Syndrome modeling, and concerns and challenges. [J Cell Biochem] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.

MSC 2013 - Adult Stem Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine
SCIENCE NEWS
Astellas and CiRA, Kyoto University Discover Efficient Methods of Differentiating Nephron Progenitor Cells from Human iPS/ES Cells
Astellas Pharma Inc. and Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application discovered methods of efficiently carrying out one of the processes in which kidneys are regenerated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) and human embryonic stem cells (ES cells). [Press release from Astellas Pharma Inc. discussing research presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s (ISSCR) 11th Annual Meeting, Boston] Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS
Scotland Continues to Forge Ahead in Stem Cell Research
Scotland's standing as Europe's largest and most highly regarded stem cell research community has been reaffirmed recently by announcements of funding from the UK Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation to the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine based at the Edinburgh BioQuarter. As part of a major $25 million boost for UK regenerative medicine, the Edinburgh center will play a key role in the development of new therapies. [PR Newswire Association LLC] Press Release

First Science Star for Wales Announced
A world-leading neurobiologist who will take up a post at Cardiff University as the first appointment under the Welsh Government’s £50 million flagship science initiative has been welcomed to Wales and Cardiff by First Minister for Wales and the Minister for Economy & Science. [Cardiff University] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
US Supreme Court Rules Patents on ‘Natural’ Human Genes Invalid
In one of the most anxiously awaited court decisions of the year, the US Supreme Court unanimously struck down patents on isolated, natural human genes. Patents on synthesized DNA, however, are still valid, the justices said. Included in that category are commercially important patents on cDNA - segments of DNA synthesized using an RNA template. [Supreme Court, United States] Press Release | Syllabus

UK Scientists Fear Further Cuts
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is set to unveil the next comprehensive spending review, which sets spending for government departments. He said that he hoped to make clear the government’s “long-term commitment” to research in the new review, but scientists fear another budget freeze. [Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdom] Press Release

Japan Eyes U.S. National Institutes of Health as Model for a New Agency
Japan's government may create its own version of the U.S. National Institutes of Health to foster medical innovation and bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic. [Japanese Government, Japan]
Press Release

Protestors to Government: 'Save Spanish Science'
Spanish researchers arrived at a closed gate at the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in Madrid, where they had wanted to deliver a clear message to their government: Save Spanish science. Protestors carried a 10-point wish list, signed by 45,000 supporters, that includes increasing public spending for research to 2% of the gross domestic product by 2016, improving opportunities for young researchers, and creating an independent funding agency. [Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain] Press Release
EVENTS

NEW World Cord Blood Congress 2013
September 30-October 1, 2013
Cambridge, United States

NEW Cell Culture World Congress USA 2013
September 30-October 1, 2013
Cambridge, United States

NEW Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2013
September 30-October 1, 2013
Cambridge, United States

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

NEW Postdoctoral Fellowship - Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry (Masaryk University)

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

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)

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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