Volume 8.29 | Jul 24

ESC & iPSC News 8.29 July 24, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
TOP STORY
Stem Cells Reprogrammed Using Chemicals Alone
Scientists have demonstrated a new way to reprogram adult tissue to become cells as versatile as embryonic stem cells – without the addition of extra genes that could increase the risk of dangerous mutations or cancer. They reported success in creating induced pluripotent stem cells using chemical compounds only – what they call CiPS cells. [Press release from Nature News discussing online prepublication in Science]
Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Translating Dosage Compensation to Trisomy 21
Scientists tested the concept that gene imbalance across an extra chromosome can be de facto corrected by manipulating a single gene, XIST (the X-inactivation gene). Using genome editing with zinc finger nucleases, they inserted a large, inducible XIST transgene into the DYRK1A locus on chromosome 21, in Down’s syndrome pluripotent stem cells. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

Photoreceptor Precursors Derived from Three-Dimensional Embryonic Stem Cell Cultures Integrate and Mature within Adult Degenerate Retina
To isolate photoreceptor precursors fit for transplantation, investigators adapted a recently reported three-dimensional differentiation protocol that generates neuroretina from mouse embryonic stem cells. They showed that rod precursors derived by this protocol and selected via a GFP reporter under the control of a Rhodopsin promoter integrate within degenerate retinas of adult mice and mature into outer segment-bearing photoreceptors. [Nat Biotechnol] Abstract | Press Release

Reprogramming of Human Fibroblasts to Pluripotency with Lineage Specifiers
Through a combination of transcriptome and bioinformatic analysis researchers have identified factors previously characterized as being lineage specifiers that are able to replace OCT4 and SOX2 in the reprogramming of human fibroblasts. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Jmjd3 Controls Mesodermal and Cardiovascular Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers showed that ablation of Jmjd3 in mouse embryonic stem cells did not affect the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal, but compromised mesoderm and subsequent endothelial and cardiac differentiation. [Circ Res] Abstract

The p53PUMA Axis Suppresses iPSC Generation
Scientists examined the role of PUMA, a pro-apoptotic mediator of p53, during somatic reprogramming in comparison to p21 in the p53 pathway. Using mouse strains deficient in these molecules, they demonstrated that PUMA is an independent mediator of the negative effect of p53 on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) induction. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Integration-Deficient Lentivectors: An Effective Strategy to Purify and Differentiate Human ES Cell Derived Hepatic Progenitors
Scientists used lentivectors encoding GFP driven by the liver-specific apolipoprotein A-II promoter to purify human hepatic progenitors. They evaluated both integrating and integration-defective lentivectors in combination with an inhibitor of HIV integrase. A human ES cell line was differentiated into hepatic progenitors using a chemically-defined protocol. [BMC Biol] Abstract | Full Article

MRAS GTPase Is a Novel Stemness Marker that Impacts Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Plasticity and Xenopus Embryonic Cell Fate
To characterize the effects of muscle ras oncogene homolog (Mras) on cell pluripotency and differentiation, investigators used gain- and loss-of-function strategies in mouse embryonic stem cells and in the Xenopus laevis embryo, in which Mras gene structure and protein sequence are conserved. [Development] Abstract

Drug Metabolizing Enzyme and Transporter Protein Profiles of Hepatocytes Derived from Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The expression and function of important drug metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes and transporter proteins in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes were compared to cryopreserved human primary hepatocytes and HepG2 cells. [Biochem Pharmacol] Abstract

The Self-Renewal of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Is Regulated by Cell-Substratum Adhesion and Cell Spreading
Using E14 and R1 mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) lines, the authors restricted cell spreading in the absence of leukemia inhibitory factor by either culturing mESCs on chemically defined, weakly adhesive biomaterial substrates, or by manipulating the cytoskeleton. They demonstrated that by restricting the degree of spreading by either method, mESCs can be maintained in an undifferentiated and pluripotent state. [Int J Biochem Cell Biol] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Unraveling Stem Cell Dynamics by Lineage Tracing
Lineage-tracing and genetic labeling technologies are beginning to shed light on the mechanisms and dynamics of stem and progenitor cell fate determination during development, tissue maintenance and repair, as well as their dysregulation in tumor formation. [Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
INDUSTRY NEWS
Medistem and Cytori Therapeutics Enter into Licensing Agreement
Medistem, Inc. announced that it entered into an agreement granting Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. a license and the exclusive rights to use Medistem’s U.S. Patent No. 8,241,621, “Stem Cell Mediated Treg Activation” in the United States. The licensed patent pertains to Cytori’s Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cell based platform for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. [Medistem, Inc.] Press Release

Information on Proposed Pilot Study of the Safety and Feasibility of Transplantation of Autologous hiPSC-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) Cell Sheets in Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The RIKEN CDB Laboratory of Retinal Regeneration is currently seeking approval to conduct a small-scale, open label pilot study of the safety of cell sheets incorporating retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from autologous human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) in patients with wet-type age-related macular degeneration. [RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
Italian Panel Meets with Controversial Stem Cell Provider to Discuss Trial
A panel of top science administrators and stem cell scientists met with Davide Vannoni, the president of an Italian foundation providing highly controversial stem cell treatments, in a first effort to hash out the details of a government-sponsored clinical trial of the therapy. [Italian Government, Italy] Press Release

Canada’s New Science Minister Lacks Research Pedigree
Former lawyer and nurse Greg Rickford has become Canada’s science minister as Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his Cabinet. It has left science associations scrambling to learn a bit about the new junior minister. [Science Minister, Canada] Press Release

Senate Panel Gives NSF an 8% Budget Boost
In a bipartisan vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee endorsed a 7.9% increase for the agency that would boost its 2014 budget to $7.426 billion. In doing so, it also questioned the value of various initiatives launched by its former director as well as the wisdom of assigning new responsibilities to National Science Foundation (NSF)’s education directorate under a proposed shakeup of all federal science education programs. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

New Law in France Loosens Restrictions on Human Embryo Research
The French National Assembly approved a new law that aims to ease regulation of research involving human embryos and embryonic stem cells. Although French researchers say that the shift will bring little immediate change to their day-to-day work, they hope that the new law will bring more academic freedom and collaboration. [French National Assembly, France] Press Release

U.K. Won’t Eliminate Embryo Research Authority
The U.K. government has decided to keep the country’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) as an independent body overseeing assisted reproduction and embryo research. The government had considered eliminating the agency as part of its push to simplify government and reduce regulation. But the government announced that it would follow the advice of an expert evaluation and leave both HFEA and the Human Tissue Authority in place as independent bodies. [U.K. Government, United Kingdom]
Press Release
EVENTS
NEW 3rd Geneocell Summer School: Advanced Stem Cell Technologies & Therapies
September 9-15, 2013
Izmit, Turkey

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Research Assistant – Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Culture and Microinjection (Mary Lyon Centre, MRC-Harwell)

NEW Stem Cell Researcher – Heart Research Group (University of Tampere)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Therapy and Epigenetics of Retina (University of Pittsburgh, Ophthalmology)

Postdoctoral Position – Pluripotent Stem Cells to Islets (INSERM FRANCE)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry (Masaryk University)

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

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


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