Volume 8.31 | Aug 7

ESC & iPSC News 8.31 August 7, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Advance in Regenerative Medicine Could Make Reprogrammed Cells Safer While Improving Their Function
A new finding by a team of researchers led by Weill Cornell Medical College has the potential to improve both the safety and performance of reprogrammed cells. The researchers’ study, published in the journal Nature, found that an enzyme, activation-induced cytidine deaminase, helps in the process that changes an adult human cell into an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS cell). These iPS cells can then be developed into any kind of cell needed to therapeutically restore tissues and organs. [Press release from Weill Cornell Medical College discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Induction of Mouse Germ-Cell Fate by Transcription Factors In Vitro
Scientists showed that, without cytokines, simultaneous overexpression of three transcription factors, Blimp1 (also known as Prdm1), Prdm14 and Tfap2c (also known as AP2γ), directs epiblast-like cells, but not embryonic stem cells, swiftly and efficiently into a primordial germ cell state. [Nature] Abstract

Efficient Generation of Human iPSCs by a Synthetic Self-Replicative RNA
Researchers report a simple, highly reproducible RNA-based induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) generation approach that utilizes a single, synthetic self-replicating VEE-RF RNA replicon that expresses four reprogramming factors at consistent high levels prior to regulated RNA degradation. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Press Release | Graphical Abstract

Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells into Thymic Epithelial Progenitor-Like Cells Reconstitutes the Thymic Microenvironment In Vivo
The authors report a stepwise protocol to direct the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into thymic epithelial progenitor-like cells by mimicking thymus organogenesis with sequential regulation of Activin, retinoic acid, BMP, and WNT signals. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Importin Alpha Subtypes Determine Differential Transcription Factor Localization in Embryonic Stem Cells Maintenance
Scientists report a cell-fate determination mechanism in which importin α2 negatively regulates the nuclear import of certain transcription factors to maintain embryonic stem cell properties. [Dev Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia iPS Cells Exhibit Defective MPL-Mediated Signaling
Because Mpl-/- mice do not exhibit the human disease phenotype, researchers used an in vitro disease tracing system with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from a congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia patient and normal iPSCs to investigate the role of MPL signaling in hematopoiesis. [J Clin Invest] Full Article

The RNA-Binding Protein Repertoire of Embryonic Stem Cells
To systematically identify the RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) of embryonic stem cells, investigators employed interactome capture, which combines UV cross-linking of RBP to RNA in living cells, oligo(dT) capture and MS. [Nat Struct Mol Biol] Abstract

Highly Efficient Induction and Long-Term Maintenance of Multipotent Cardiovascular Progenitors from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells under Defined Conditions
Researchers report that a combination of bone morphogenetic protein 4, glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitor CHIR99021 and ascorbic acid is sufficient to rapidly convert monolayer-cultured human pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, into homogeneous cardiovascular progenitor cells in a chemically defined medium under feeder- and serum-free culture conditions. [Cell Res] Abstract

Inhibition of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Teratoma Formation by Small Molecules
Having identified a unique human embryonic stem cell signature of pro- and antiapoptotic gene expression profile, scientists hypothesized that targeting human pluripotent stem cells-specific antiapoptotic factor(s) represents an efficient strategy to selectively eliminate pluripotent cells with teratoma potential. Scientists report the successful identification of small molecules that can effectively inhibit these antiapoptotic factors, leading to selective and efficient removal of pluripotent stem cells through apoptotic cell death. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Enrichment of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived NKX6.1-Expressing Pancreatic Progenitor Cells Accelerates the Maturation of Insulin-Secreting Cells In Vivo
The relative contributions of NKX6.1-negative versus NKX6.1-positive cell fractions to the maturation of functional β-cells remain unclear. To address this question researchers generated two distinct pancreatic progenitor cell populations using modified differentiation protocols. [Stem Cells] Abstract

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Genetic and Epigenetic Variations in iPSCs: Potential Causes and Implications for Application
The authors review the current understanding of genetic and epigenetic variations in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), trace their causes, discuss the implications of these variations for iPSC applications, and propose approaches to cope with these variations. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract

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Factor Bioscience Granted First Patent for RNA Reprogramming Technology
The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Factor Bioscience the first patent covering methods for reprogramming cells using RNA, a technology with wide-ranging applications in biological research and personalized medicine. The patented methods can transform patient skin cells into stem cells more rapidly, efficiently, and safely than previous techniques. [Factor Bioscience Inc.] Press Release

Avita Medical Enrolls First Patients in ReCell® Trial for Chronic Leg Ulcers
Avita Medical Ltd. announced the initial enrollment of three patients in the RESTORE trial, a multi-center, randomized European clinical trial evaluating the use of ReCell® Spray-on Skin® in the management of patients with venous leg ulcers. The company believes the management and treatment of lower limb ulcers represents a large and growing market opportunity for ReCell. [Avita Medical Ltd.] Press Release

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Astrophysicist France Córdova Tapped to Lead the National Science Foundation
A prominent U.S. university administrator is in line to become director of the National Science Foundation. President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate France Córdova, a 65-year-old astrophysicist, to lead the $7 billion agency. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

Brazil’s Science Investment Reaches Record High
Brazil’s investment in science has reached an all-time high, with the science ministry’s budget increasing from 8.6 billion reals (about US$3.8 billion) in 2012 to 12.7 billion reals (around US$5.6 billion) this year, according to science minister Marco Antonio Raupp. [Science Minister, Brazil] Press Release

Strict Limits on Animal Research Stun Italian Scientists
In a major victory for animal rights activists, the Italian Parliament approved a bill that puts drastic limitations on animal testing. Scientists have warned that the provisions, voted by the Senate earlier, will severely hurt biomedical research in their country – but they haven’t given up hope yet that the measures will be canceled. [Italian Parliament, Italy] Press Release

Australia’s Top Scientist Calls for a National Strategic Science Policy
Australia’s top science adviser warned the nation that it was time to feel a “sense of urgency” about its slipping science and technology expertise or risk falling behind the rest of the world scientifically and economically. Ian Chubb, the Australian government’s chief scientist, made the remarks while unveiling a position paper calling for a strategic plan to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the nation. [Chief Scientist, Australia] Press Release
NEW 2013 American Society of Cell Biology Annual Meeting
December 14-18, 2013
New Orleans, United States

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NEW Postdoctoral Position – Neurosteroids and Neural Stem Cells in Developing Brain (Children’s National Medical Center)

NEW Tenure-Track Position – Cell Biologist (McGill University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Human Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Research Assistant – Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Culture and Microinjection (Mary Lyon Centre, MRC-Harwell)

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)

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

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