Volume 8.34 | Aug 28

ESC & iPSC News 8.34 August 28, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Cerebral Organoids Model Human Brain Development and Microcephaly
Scientists have developed a human pluripotent stem cell-derived three-dimensional organoid culture system, termed cerebral organoids, that develop various discrete, although interdependent, brain regions. These include a cerebral cortex containing progenitor populations that organize and produce mature cortical neuron subtypes. [Nature] Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
A HCN4+ Cardiomyogenic Progenitor Derived from the First Heart Field and Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists present Hcn4 (hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4) as an first heart field (FHF) marker. Lineage-traced Hcn4+/FHF cells delineate FHF-derived structures in the heart and primarily contribute to cardiomyogenic cell lineages, thereby identifying an early cardiomyogenic progenitor pool. As a surface marker, HCN4 also allowed the isolation of cardiomyogenic Hcn4+/FHF progenitors from human embryonic stem cells. [Nat Cell Biol] Abstract

Identification of DPPA4 and DPPA2 as a Novel Family of Pluripotency-Related Oncogenes
In order to identify novel pluripotency-related oncogenes, an expression screen for oncogenic foci-inducing genes within a retroviral human embryonic stem cell cDNA library was conducted. From this screen, the authors identified not only known oncogenes but also intriguingly the key pluripotency factor, DPPA4 (developmental pluripotency-associated 4) that encodes a DNA binding SAP domain-containing protein. [Stem Cells]Abstract

Akt Suppression of TGFβ Signaling Contributes to the Maintenance of Vascular Identity in Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells
Investigators generated vascular endothelial cells from mouse embryonic stem cells, and shown that active Akt is essential to their survival and propagation as homogeneous monolayers in vitro. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Cortical Region-Specific Engraftment of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitor Cells Restores Axonal Sprouting to a Subcortical Target and Achieves Motor Functional Recovery in a Mouse Model of Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury
Scientists evaluated the ability of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells to become cortical deep layer neurons, to restore the neural network, and to repair brain damage in an hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy mouse model. [Front Cell Neurosci] Full Article

HEXIM1 Induces Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
A genome-wide study using human embryonic stem cells shows that most mRNA synthesis is regulated at the stage of transcription elongation, suggesting a possible role for positive transcription elongation factor b/hexamethylene bisacetamide inducible protein 1 (HEXIM1) in the gene regulation of stem cells. In this report, researchers detected a marked increase in HEXIM1 protein levels in the differentiated human pluripotent stem cells induced by LY294002 treatment. [PLoS One] Full Article

Directed In Vitro Myogenesis of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Their In Vivo Engraftment
Researchers report that human embryonic stem cells can differentiate into skeletal muscle cells without genetic manipulation. This is achieved through the isolation of cells expressing a mesodermal marker, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α, following embryoid body formation. [PLoS One] Full Article

Hypoxia-Enhanced Derivation of iPSCs from Human Dental Pulp Cells
Because the authors showed previously that hypoxia facilitates the isolation and maintenance of human dental pulp cells (DPCs), they examined whether it promotes the reprogramming of DPCs to become induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). [J Dent Res] Abstract

Functional Vascular Endothelium Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
To establish a cellular platform for studying endothelial biology, scientists have generated vascular endothelium from human induced pluripotent stem cells exhibiting the rich functional phenotypic plasticity of mature primary vascular endothelium. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article | Press Release

Brain Food: NeuroCult SM1 for Long-Term Primary Neuronal Culture. View Data!
Technological Progress and Challenges towards cGMP Manufacturing of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Based Therapeutic Products for Allogeneic and Autologous Cell Therapies
Scientists describe critical challenges and highlight a series of technological advances in all aspects of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based therapeutic product manufacturing including clinical grade cell line development, large-scale banking, upstream processing, downstream processing, and quality assessment of final cell therapeutic products that have brought hPSCs closer to clinical application and commercial cell therapies according to good manufacturing practice (cGMP) manufacturing. [Biotechnol Adv] Abstract

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BioTime Receives Approval to Begin Human Clinical Trials of Renevia
BioTime, Inc. announced that it has received approval from The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices to begin human clinical trials of Renevia™, a unique biomaterial used as a delivery matrix for autologous adipose derived cells to treat the loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue arising from trauma, surgical resection, and congenital defects and disease. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

Mayo Clinic to Open Stem Cell Laboratory in Phoenix
Mayo Clinic in Arizona will open its own stem cell laboratory in summer 2014. The laboratory will be initially dedicated to storing and processing stem cells used for bone marrow transplants at Mayo Clinic Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. [Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research] Press Release

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Patient Advisory for Stem Cell Therapy and Medical Tourism
As stakeholders in cellular therapy, the undersigned professional organizations believe it is necessary to share an important message with patients and families contemplating cell therapy or experimental stem cell procedures. In the document, best practices are outlined to assist patients and family members in their healthcare decisions. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine] Press Release

American Society of Hematology Awards Additional Grants to Support Critical Research Threatened by NIH Cuts
As federal funding cuts continue to jeopardize the progress of biomedical research, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) announced the 12 recipients of its second round of ASH Bridge Grants. This program supports the life-saving research of hematologists whose proposals were deemed excellent by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) but not funded due to a $1.6 billion reduction in federal funding as a direct result of sequestration. [American Society of Hematology] Press Release

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NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Self-Renewal of Pluripotent Stem Cells (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

Research Associate – Safety of Stem Cells (The University of Manchester)

Research Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (King’s College London)

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

Tenure-Track Position – Cell Biologist (McGill University)

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

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

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

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