Volume 9.35 | Sep 10

ESC & iPSC News 9.35 September 10, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
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New Reprogramming Factor Cocktail Produces Therapy-Grade Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
As scientists gained an increased understanding of the reprogramming process, they realized that myriad variables, including the ratio of reprogramming factors and the reprogramming environment, can greatly affect cell quality. Researchers have determined that the reprogramming factors themselves impact the reprogramming efficiency and the quality of the resulting cells. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute discussing online publication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | 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)
Histone Variant H2A.X Deposition Pattern Serves as a Functional Epigenetic Mark for Distinguishing the Developmental Potentials of iPSCs
Scientists show that the histone variant H2A.X is a functional marker that can distinguish the developmental potentials of mouse induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines. They found that H2A.X is specifically targeted to and negatively regulates extraembryonic lineage gene expression in embryonic stem cells and prevents trophectoderm lineage differentiation. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Systematically Labeling Developmental Stage-Specific Genes for the Study of Pancreatic β-Cell Differentiation from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers developed a systematic strategy to study human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation by labeling sequential developmental genes to encompass the major developmental stages, using the directed differentiation of pancreatic β cells from hPSCs as a model. [Cell Res] Full Article

Cfp1 Is Required for Gene Expression Dependent H3K4me3 and H3K9 Acetylation in Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists show that Cfp1 is instrumental for targeting histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) to promoters upon rapid transcriptional induction in response to external stimuli. Surprisingly, H3K4me3 accumulation is not required to ensure appropriate transcriptional output but rather plays gene specific roles. [Genome Biol]
Abstract | Full Article

Substratum-Induced Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveals the Coactivator YAP Is a Potent Regulator of Neuronal Specification
Researchers show that even in the presence of soluble pluripotency factors, compliant substrata inhibit the nuclear localization of Yes-associated protein (YAP) and promote highly efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into postmitotic neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Induction of Tissue-Specific Stem Cells by Reprogramming Factors, and Tissue-Specific Selection
Investigators generated induced tissue-specific stem (iTS) cells from the pancreas or liver by transient overexpression of reprogramming factors, combined with tissue-specific selection. The generation of iTS cells was easier than that of induced pluripotent stem cells. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

β-Catenin Fluctuates in Mouse ESCs and Is Essential for Nanog-Mediated Reprogramming of Somatic Cells to Pluripotency
Scientists demonstrate that the repression of Dkk1 by Nanog, which leads indirectly to β-catenin activation, is essential for reprogramming after fusion of embryonic stem cell (ESC) overexpressing Nanog. In addition, β-catenin is necessary in Nanog-dependent conversion of preinduced pluripotent stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. [Cell Rep] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Reptin Regulates Pluripotency of Embryonic Stem Cells and Somatic Cell Reprogramming through Oct4-Dependent Mechanism
To gain insight into the mechanism of regulation of Oct4-mediated self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and reprogramming of somatic cells, the authors identified Oct4-binding proteins using affinity purification and mass spectrometry. They identified Reptin, a key component of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, as an Oct4-binding protein. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Optogenetics Reveal Delayed Afferent Synaptogenesis on Grafted Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors
Researchers present a detailed characterization of the functional properties and synaptic integration of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons grafted in an in vitro model of hyperexcitable epileptic tissue, namely organotypic hippocampal slice cultures, and in adult rats in vivo. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Modeling Type II Collagenopathy Skeletal Dysplasia by Directed Conversion and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators converted Type II collagenopathy (COL2pathy) patients’ fibroblasts directly into induced chondrogenic cells. They also generated induced pluripotent stem cells from COL2pathy fibroblasts. [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

DNA Methylation Is Dispensable for Suppression of the Agouti viable yellow Controlling Element in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
The agouti viable locus is considered a model to understand how retroelements function as controlling elements in mammals. Epigenetic factors, principally CpG methylation, are widely held to play a dominant regulatory role in controlling the locus’ activity. Investigators examined its behavior in embryonic stem cells and determine if this locus could be exploited for use in screen-based investigations [PLoS One] Full Article

Reversal of Cellular Phenotypes in Neural Cells Derived from Huntington’s Disease Monkey-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers report the establishment of neural progenitor cell lines derived from induced pluripotent stem cells of transgenic Huntington’s disease (HD) monkeys. Upon differentiation to neurons, HD neural cells develop cellular features of HD, including the formation of nuclear inclusions and oligomeric mutant huntingtin aggregates, as well as increased apoptosis. [Stem Cell Rep]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

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Routes to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Accumulating evidence indicates that when reprogramming succeeds, the process is not random but progresses in an ordered, step-wise manner. The authors summarize current knowledge detailing how somatic cells reach a pluripotent state. [Curr Opin Genet Dev] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
Central Biobank for Drug Research
At the beginning of 2014, the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering teamed up with 26 industry and research partners to launch a project aimed at establishing a central biobank – the European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells – to generate iPS cells from patients with specific diseases or genetic mutations. Six months into the project and the first cells are available for use in the development of new drugs. [Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering] Press Release

Clinical Trial to Test Safety of Stem Cell-Derived Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, in partnership with ViaCyte, Inc. have launched the first-ever human Phase I/II clinical trial of a stem cell-derived therapy for patients with Type 1 diabetes. [University of California, San Diego] Press Release

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Japan’s Researchers Face Increased Ethics Oversight
Scientists in Japan applying for government grants will soon be getting new mandatory reading material: a manual for promoting research integrity. The manual is being developed by the country’s three major funding agencies and the Science Council of Japan. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Australian Gene-Patent Case Dismissed
An Australian federal court has thrown out a lawsuit challenging a patent on the cancer-associated gene BRCA1. The decision is the latest setback for patient advocates who argue that the patent limits genetic-testing options for Australian cancer patients. [Nature News] Editorial
NEW Nuclear Reprogramming and the Cancer Genome 2014
October 31-November 2, 2014
Guangzhou, China

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cells and Neurodegeneration (University of Copenhagen)

NEW Research Technician – Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (King’s College London)

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

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cardiac Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells (Stanford University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cardiac Animal Surgery (Stanford University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Based Therapeutics (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

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

Research Technician – Maintenance of Embryonic Stem Cell Lines, Electroporation and Subcloning (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Brigham & Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School)

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.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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