Volume 9.20 | May 28

ESC & iPSC News 9.20 May 28, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
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TOP STORY
Variant PRC1 Complex-Dependent H2A Ubiquitylation Drives PRC2 Recruitment and Polycomb Domain Formation
Using a de novo targeting assay in mouse embryonic stem cells scientists unexpectedly discovered that PRC1-dependent H2AK119ub1 leads to recruitment of PRC2 and H3K27me3 to effectively initiate a polycomb domain. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Derivation of Metabolically Active Hepatocytes from Pluripotent Stem Cells - View On-Demand Webinar Now.
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
The Ability of Inner-Cell-Mass Cells to Self-Renew as Embryonic Stem Cells Is Acquired following Epiblast Specification
Researchers present transcriptional and functional data to identify the embryonic counterpart of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Marker profiling shows that ESCs are distinct from early inner cell mass and closely resemble pre-implantation epiblast. [Nat Cell Biol] Abstract

Towards a Clinical Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Progenitors: A Translational Experience
Data collected by researchers has led to approval by the French regulatory authorities for a first-in-man clinical trial of transplantation of SSEA-1+ progenitors in patients with severely impaired cardiac function. Although several facets of the manufacturing process still need to be improved, these data may yet provide a useful platform for the production of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac progenitor cells under safe and cost-effective good manufacturing practice conditions. [Eur Heart J] Abstract

Identification of a Large Protein Network Involved in Epigenetic Transmission in Replicating DNA of Embryonic Stem Cells
Investigators used a modified version of the iPOND (isolation of proteins at nascent DNA) technology to identify a large protein network enriched at nascent DNA in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). This comprehensive and unbiased proteomic characterization in ESCs reveals that, in addition to the core replication machinery, proteins relevant for pluripotency of ESCs are present at DNA replication sites. [Nucleic Acids Res] Full Article

Aberrant DNA Methylation in ES Cells
Both mouse and human embryonic stem cells can be differentiated in vitro to produce a variety of somatic cell types. Using a new developmental tracing approach, scientists showed that these cells are subject to massive aberrant CpG island de novo methylation that is exacerbated by differentiation in vitro. [PLoS One] Full Article

Derivation of Stable Zebrafish ES-Like Cells in Feeder-Free Culture
Zebrafish embryonic stem (ES)-like cells have been produced on a feeder cell layer. Researchers report the derivation of Z428, a zebrafish ES-like cell line, from blastula embryos in feeder-free culture. [Cell Tissue Res] Abstract

Evaluation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and their Differentiated Fibroblastic Progenies as Cellular Models for In Vitro Genotoxicity Screening
The DNA damage response of human embryonic stem cells and their differentiated fibroblastic progenies were compared to a fibroblastic cell line and primary cultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes, upon exposure to Mitomycin C, gamma irradiation and H2O2. [J Biotechnol] Abstract

Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Mice by Reprogramming of a Mature Natural Killer T Cell
Two lines of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mice were generated by reprogramming of mature natural killer T cells, where one harbors both rearranged Vα14Jα18 and Vβ7 genes and the other carries rearranged Vα14Jα18 on both alleles but germline Vβ loci. [Int Immunol] Abstract

Noninvasive Reporter Gene Imaging of Human Oct4 (Pluripotency) Dynamics during the Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells in Living Subjects
To assess Oct4 activity noninvasively, investigators engineered a mouse embryonic stem cell line which encoded both a pOct4-hrluc (humanized renilla luciferase) reporter and a pUbi-hfluc2-gfp (humanized firefly luciferase 2 fused to green fluorescent protein) reporter. [Mol Imaging Biol] Abstract

Directed Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Toward Bone and Cartilage: In Vitro versus In Vivo Assays
The ability to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into committed skeletal progenitors could allow for an unlimited autologous supply of such cells for therapeutic uses; therefore, the authors attempted to create novel bone-forming cells from human iPSCs using lines from two distinct tissue sources and methods of differentiation that they previously devised for osteogenic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells, and as suggested by other publications. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Targeting Polycomb to Pericentric Heterochromatin in Embryonic Stem Cells Reveals a Role for H2AK119u1 in PRC2 Recruitment
Building on recent studies that determined a reciprocal relationship between DNA methylation and Polycomb activity, scientists demonstrate that, in methylation-deficient embryonic stem cells, CpG density combined with antagonistic effects of H3K9me3 and H3K36me3 redirects Polycomb group complexes to pericentric heterochromatin and gene-rich domains. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

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REVIEWS
Inducing Pluripotency for Disease Modeling, Drug Development and Craniofacial Applications
This review presents key aspects related to induced pluripotent stem cells, such as their generation, potential for disease modeling, treatment, drug development and future contributions to the craniofacial complex. [Expert Opin Biol Ther] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
Stem Cell Research on Campus Grows after $3 Million Boost
Unlocking knowledge about how organisms develop and repair, stem cell research holds great promise for future therapies for injuries and conditions, from infertility and Alzheimer’s to heart failure and cancer. As part of its mission to promote cross-campus interactions and enhance training in stem cell biology at Cornell, the Cornell Stem Cell Program held its second Stem Cell Retreat on campus. [Cornell University] Press Release

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Funds 31 New Research Proposals in FY 2014 with Continued Focus on Contributing to Cures for Debilitating Diseases and Conditions
The board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation approved the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission’s recommendation to fund 31 new proposals with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s $10.4 million FY2014 budget. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
E.U. Commission Rejects Plea to Block Stem Cell Research Funding
The European Commission turned down a request by pro-life organizations to block E.U. funding for research using embryonic stem cells – causing many scientists to breathe a sigh of relief. The commission says the existing rules under the European Union’s science program, Horizon 2020, are appropriate and will not change. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

NIH Will No Longer Require Special Review for U.S. Gene Therapy Trials
In a milestone for the field of gene therapy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer subject all proposed gene therapy clinical trials to review by a special federal advisory committee. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Revised FIRST Bill Would Give Science Agencies One Year to Make Papers Free
Responding to concerns from advocates for public access to government-funded research, the House of Representatives science committee has agreed to shorten the deadline within a draft bill requiring federal agencies to provide free access to scientific papers that they supported. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
 
EVENTS
NEW 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy of Cancer
September 25-27, 2014
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology (Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research)

NEW Scientist – Immunology/Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

PhD Studentship – Molecular Mechanism of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division (King’s College London)

Postdoctoral Fellows – Reproductive Sciences/Embryonic Development (University of Maryland)

Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetics, Stem Cell Biology and Heart Development (Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research)

Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Postdoctoral Associate – Hematopoietic Differentiation (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Basic and Translational Neuroscience/Stem Cell Research (University of California, Davis)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology (Yale Stem Cell Center)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)


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