Volume 9.42 | Oct 29

ESC & iPSC News 9.42 October 29, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
The Generation of Kidney Organoids by Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Cells to Ureteric Bud Progenitor-Like Cells
Researchers present recently developed methodologies for the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into ureteric bud (UB) progenitor-like cells. Differentiation of human PSCs to UB progenitor-like cells allows for the generation of chimeric kidney cultures in which the human cells can self-assemble into chimeric 3D structures in combination with embryonic mouse kidney cells over a period of 18 days. [Nat Protoc]
Full Article
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Pwp1 Is Required for the Differentiation Potential of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells through Regulating Stat3 Signaling
Scientists show that periodic tryptophan protein 1 (Pwp1) is required for the exit of mouse embryonic stem cells (mES) cells from the pluripotent state into all lineages. Knockdown of Pwp1 does not affect mES cell proliferation, self-renewal or apoptosis. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Notch Signaling Regulates Motor Neuron Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
The authors studied the role of Notch signaling in regulation of the switch from the pMN progenitor state to differentiated motor neurons in a human model system. Human embryonic stem cells were directed to differentiate to pMN-like progenitor cells by the inductive action of retinoic acid and a Shh agonist, purmorphamine. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Huntingtin Promotes mTORC1 Signaling in the Pathogenesis of Huntington’s Disease
Researchers found that protein huntingtin (Htt) promotes signaling by mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and that it is potentiated by poly-Q-expanded Htt. Knocking out Htt in mouse embryonic stem cells or human embryonic kidney cells attenuated amino acid-induced mTORC1 activity, whereas overexpressing wild-type or poly-Q-expanded Htt in striatal neuronal cells increased basal mTOR activity.
[Sci Signal]
Abstract | Press Release

Human iPS Cell-Engineered Cardiac Tissue Sheets with Cardiomyocytes and Vascular Cells for Cardiac Regeneration
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (HiPSC)-cardiac tissue sheets transplantation to rat infarcted hearts significantly improved cardiac function. In addition to neovascularization, scientists confirmed that engrafted human cells mainly consisted of cardiomyocytes in >40% of transplanted rats four weeks after transplantation. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Histologic and Spectroscopic Study of Pluripotent Stem Cells after Implanting in Ocular Traumatic Injuries in a Murine Model
Scientists analyzed the histopathological and spectroscopic changes in ocular tissue with trauma, treated with mouse pluripotent stem cells. Results showed that the experimental groups treated with stem cells presented a decrease in the inflammatory response, and the histological integrity was restored, which contrasted with the experimental group treated with saline solution. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Abstract | Full Article

Directed Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells into Leydig-Like Cells Rescue Testosterone Deficient Male Rats In Vivo
Investigators describe a robust method of directing differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into Leydig-like cells in vitro by over-expression of the transcription factor SF-1 and treatment with a combination of 8 Br-cAMP and forskolin. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Hypoxia Enhances Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells into Definitive Endoderm and Distal Lung Cells
Researchers investigated the effects of hypoxia on spontaneous and activin A-induced definitive endoderm differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells and their subsequent differentiation into distal pulmonary epithelial cells. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Endoderm Generates Endothelial Cells during Liver Development
Scientists demonstrate that during development of the liver, a subset of endothelial cells (ECs) is generated from FOXA2+ endoderm-derived fetal hepatoblast progenitor cells expressing KDR (VEGFR2/FLK-1). Using human and mouse embryonic stem cell models, they demonstrate that KDR+FOXA2+ endoderm cells developing in hepatic differentiation cultures generate functional ECs. [Stem Cell Rep]
Full Article | Press Release

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REVIEWS
Progress Toward Establishing Embryonic Stem or Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Clinical Translation
Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are pluripotent and therefore capable of differentiating into different cell types and tissues. However, their clinical potential, so far, has not been sufficiently probed. The author addresses some of the ongoing clinical trials using stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells, cardiomyocytes, neurons and attempts to establish insulin-producing cells for the treatment of type 1 diabetes [Curr Opin Organ Transplant] Abstract

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

Global Controls in Stem Cells
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
Cellular Dynamics Awarded $1.2 Million NEI Contract for Developing Patient-Derived Stem Cells in Gear-Up for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Trial
Cellular Dynamics International announced that the National Eye Institute awarded the company a $1.2 million contract to manufacture clinically compatible induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived human retinal pigment epithelial cells. These cells will be manufactured from individuals suffering from dry age-related macular degeneration and will be used for investigational new drug enabling studies.
[Cellular Dynamics International]
Press Release

ViaCyte’s VC-01TM Investigational Stem Cell-Derived Islet Replacement Therapy Successfully Implanted into First Patient
ViaCyte, Inc. announced that the first patient in its Phase I/II study was successfully implanted with VC-01TM, its embryonic stem cell-derived islet replacement product candidate being developed as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. [ViaCyte, Inc. (PR Newswire)] Press Release

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute Announces Largest-Ever Stem Cell Repository
The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute will provide for the first time the largest-ever number of stem cell lines available to the scientific research community. Initially, over 600 induced pluripotent stem cell lines and 1,000 cultured fibroblasts from over 1,000 unique human subjects will be made available, with an increasing number available in the first year. [New York Stem Cell Foundation] Press Release

UC San Diego Named Stem Cell “Alpha Clinic”
In a push to further speed clinical development of emerging stem cell therapies, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health System was named one of three new “alpha clinics” by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. [UC San Diego Health System] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
Working in Industry: An Academic-Style Postdoc in a Pharmaceutical Setting
Rightly or wrongly, postdoc positions within industry tend to have a less than stellar reputation. Rumors abound of a disregard for publishing papers, a lack of freedom to develop ideas and difficulty returning to academia. However, pharmaceutical companies, including Roche, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck and NIBR, are starting to introduce academic-style postdoc fellowships, recognizing the need to build relationships with universities. [Nature] Editorial

Managers of Discredited STAP Stem Cell Study Refund Salary
The top administrators of RIKEN, Japan’s national network of research laboratories, will voluntarily return one to three months of their salaries to atone for their responsibility for the STAP stem cell fiasco. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Overhaul of Chinese Science Spending Looms
The Chinese government is readying a major shake-up of how it doles out science funding. The Ministry of Science and Technology may hand control of the lion’s share of research spending to as-yet-unidentified “independent institutes”. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
 
EVENTS
NEW Molecular Med Tri-Con 2015
February 15-20, 2015
San Francisco, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW PhD Postition – DNA Methylation, Reprogramming and Differentiation (Institute of Molecular Biology)

Postdoctoral Position – Muscle Cell Therapy (I-Stem)

Postdoctoral Scientist – Stem Cell Biology (Texas Biomedical Research Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Pluripotent Stem Cell Laboratory (University of California – San Diego)

PhD Position – DNA Demethylation, Reprogramming & Differentiation (Institute of Molecular Biology)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Stem Cells & Epigenetics (National Institutes of Health)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine (Texas Biomedical Research Institute)

Postdoctoral Position – Transplantation Aspects of Hepatocytes Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (INSERM UMR 1064)

Postdoctoral Positions – Hematopoietic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (Indiana University School of Medicine)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology Endoderm Lineages (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Media Development, High Throughput Screening (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Cell Culture Support Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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


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