Volume 11.15 | Apr 20

ESC & iPSC News 11.15 April 20, 2016
ESC & iPSC News
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Hidden Genetic Mutations in Patient-Derived Stem Cells Could Ultimately Undermine Therapeutic Benefit
Scientists have confirmed the long-standing hypothesis that as people age, they accumulate gene mutations in their mitochondria – the cells’ energy source. They discovered that induced pluripotent stem cells, a type of stem cell derived from patients’ skin or blood cells, contain faulty mitochondrial DNA. [Press release from Oregon Health And Science University discussing online publication in Cell Stem Cell]
Press Release | Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Editorial
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Activation of Endogenous Retroviruses in Dnmt1−/− ESCs Involves Disruption of SETDB1-Mediated Repression by NP95 Binding to Hemimethylated DNA
Acute loss of the maintenance methyltransferase Dnmt1 induced widespread DNA demethylation and transcriptional activation of endogenous retroviruses, including CpG-rich intracisternal A particle proviruses. Researchers showed that this effect is not due simply to a loss of DNA methylation. Conditional deletions revealed that both Dnmt1 and Np95 are essential for maintenance DNA methylation. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Dynamic and Flexible H3K9me3 Bridging via HP1β Dimerization Establishes a Plastic State of Condensed Chromatin
The authors defined a fundamental mechanism for chromatin higher order structural changes caused by heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) proteins, which might contribute to the plastic nature of condensed chromatin. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Melatonin Improves Reprogramming Efficiency and Proliferation of Bovine-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers studied how primary cultured bovine neural stem cells (NSC) isolated from the retinal neural layer could transform into NSC-derived pluripotent stem cells cell. [J Pineal Res] Abstract

Small Molecules Facilitate Single Factor-Mediated Hepatic Reprogramming
Investigators report that direct conversion into induced hepatocyte-like cells is a stepwise transition involving the erasure of somatic memory, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, and induction of hepatic cell fate in a sequential manner. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Distinct Signaling Requirements for the Establishment of ESC Pluripotency in Late-Stage EpiSCs
Investigators showed that chemical inhibition of casein kinase 1alpha induces the conversion of recalcitrant late-stage epiblast stem cell (EpiSC) into embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency. [Cell Rep]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract

MicroRNAs of the miR-290–295 Family Maintain Bivalency in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Examining the contribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) to the regulation of bivalent genes, researchers found that the miRNA biogenesis enzyme DICER was required for the binding of the PRC2 core components EZH2 and SUZ12, and for the presence of the PRC2-mediated histone modification H3K27me3 at many bivalent genes. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article

Nucleosome Positioning Changes during Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation
To better understand nucleosome positioning, scientists used MNase-seq to investigate changes that occur as human embryonic stem cells transition to nascent mesoderm and then to smooth muscle cells. [Epigenetics] Abstract

Improved Survival and Initiation of Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Hepatocyte-Like Cells upon Culture in William’s E Medium followed by Hepatocyte Differentiation Inducer Treatment
Although human induced pluripotent stem cells initiate hepatocyte differentiation, most die within 7 days. In this study, the authors investigated both hepatocyte differentiation inducer and conventional media for their potential to improve cell survival. [PLoS One] Full Article

Inhibition of Lysine-Specific Demethylase-1 (LSD1/KDM1A) Promotes the Adipogenic Differentiation of hESCs Through H3K4 Methylation
The authors investigated the functional role of LSD1 during the adipogenic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) involving the demethylation of H3K4. They also found that treating hESCs with the LSD1 inhibitor CBB1007 promotes the adipogenic differentiation of hESCs. [Stem Cell Rev] Full Article

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Engineering Human Cells and Tissues through Pluripotent Stem Cells
The utility of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) depends on their ability to produce functional cells and tissues of the body. Two strategies have been developed: directed differentiation of enriched populations of cells that match a regional and functional profile and spontaneous generation of three-dimensional organoids that resemble tissues in the body. Genomic editing of hPSCs and their differentiated cells broadens the use of the hPSC paradigm in studying human cellular function and disease as well as developing therapeutics. [Curr Opin Genet Dev] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
MDI Biological Laboratory Awarded Grant from Glenn Foundation to Study Aging
The MDI Biological Laboratory has announced that it has received a grant to support a new course on aging that will draw internationally renowned scientists to Bar Harbor, Maine, to examine fundamental questions about our ability to repair and regenerate tissue as we age. [Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (EurekAlert!)] Press Release

SBP and GSK Create New Center for Translational Neuroscience
SBP and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a global pharmaceutical company, have announced the creation of the SBP-GSK Center for Translational Neuroscience. The new Center, located on the SBP campus in La Jolla, will bring together experts from SBP and GSK to investigate factors that influence brain function and potentially reverse or slow down neurodegeneration, with the aim of identifying and validating new therapeutic targets. [Sanford Burnham Prebys] Press Release

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No Pressure: NSF Test Finds Eliminating Deadlines Halves Number of Grant Proposals
Annual or semiannual grant deadlines lead to enormous spikes in submissions, which in turn cause headaches for the program managers who have to organize merit review panels. Now, one piece of the agency has found a potentially powerful new tool to flatten the spikes and cut the number of proposals: It can simply eliminate deadlines. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

UK Government Pulls Back from Rule ‘Gagging’ Researchers
UK university scientists who receive public funds will not be prevented by an ‘anti-lobbying’ rule from speaking about the political implications of their work, the government has confirmed. [Nature News] Editorial
NEW Royan International Twin Congress: Reproductive Biomedicine & Stem Cell
August 31-September 2, 2016
Tehran, Iran

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
NEW Cell Culture Technician (California Institute of Technology)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

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

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Stem Cell Biology and Cell Differentiation (University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Research (Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Stem Cell Biology Regenerative Medicine Institute (NUI Galway)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Cancer Stem Cell Biology (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Chromatin Biology (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Neural Repair (University of Nebraksa Medical Center)

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