ResearchPad - embryonic-stem-cells https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The Rho-associated kinase inhibitor fasudil can replace Y-27632 for use in human pluripotent stem cell research]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7829 Poor survival of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) following freezing, thawing, or passaging hinders the maintenance and differentiation of stem cells. Rho-associated kinases (ROCKs) play a crucial role in hPSC survival. To date, a typical ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632, has been the primary agent used in hPSC research. Here, we report that another ROCK inhibitor, fasudil, can be used as an alternative and is cheaper than Y-27632. It increased hPSC growth following thawing and passaging, like Y-27632, and did not affect pluripotency, differentiation ability, and chromosome integrity. Furthermore, fasudil promoted retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiation and the survival of neural crest cells (NCCs) during differentiation. It was also useful for single-cell passaging of hPSCs and during aggregation. These findings suggest that fasudil can replace Y-27632 for use in stem research.

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<![CDATA[Sphingosine kinases protect murine embryonic stem cells from sphingosine‐induced cell cycle arrest]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7044 To test the function of the S1P signaling pathway in ESCs, conditional sphingosine kinase null mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) lines were created. Sphk1 fl/fl ; Sphk2 −/− mice were crossed, and embryonic blastocysts used to derive mESC lines. Expression of Cre recombinase allows for excision of Sphk1 and produces sphingosine kinase null cells, which become blocked at G2/M due to excessive sphingosine.

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<![CDATA[Deciphering retinal diseases through the generation of three dimensional stem cell-derived organoids: Concise Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne9be9336-ce2d-4dc4-b4d2-a7b5ffb863a5

Abstract

Three‐dimensional (3D) retinal organoids, in vitro tissue structures derived from self‐organizing cultures of differentiating human embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, could recapitulate some aspects of the cytoarchitectural structure and function of the retina in vivo. 3D retinal organoids display huge potential for the investigation of the pathogenesis of monogenic hereditary eye diseases that are related to the malfunction or degeneration of photoreceptors or retinal ganglion cells by providing an effective in vitro tool with multiple applications. In combination with recent genome editing tools, 3D retinal organoids could also represent a reliable and renewable source of transplantable cells for personalized therapies. In this review, we describe the recent advances in human pluripotent stem cells‐derived retinal organoids, determination of their histoarchitecture, complexity, and maturity. We also discuss their application as a means to decipher the pathogenesis of retinal diseases, as well as the main drawbacks and challenges. stem cells 2019;37:1496–1504

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<![CDATA[Insulin Stimulates PI3K/AKT and Cell Adhesion to Promote the Survival of Individualized Human Embryonic Stem Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3657288c-0317-4356-bc58-5b896d871318

Abstract

Insulin is present in most maintenance media for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), but little is known about its essential role in the cell survival of individualized cells during passage. In this article, we show that insulin suppresses caspase cleavage and apoptosis after dissociation. Insulin activates insulin‐like growth factor (IGF) receptor and PI3K/AKT cascade to promote cell survival and its function is independent of rho‐associated protein kinase regulation. During niche reformation after passaging, insulin activates integrin that is essential for cell survival. IGF receptor colocalizes with focal adhesion complex and stimulates protein phosphorylation involved in focal adhesion formation. Insulin promotes cell spreading on matrigel‐coated surfaces and suppresses myosin light chain phosphorylation. Further study showed that insulin is also required for the cell survival on E‐cadherin coated surface and in suspension, indicating its essential role in cell–cell adhesion. This work highlights insulin's complex roles in signal transduction and niche re‐establishment in hESCs. stem cells 2019;37:1030–1041

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<![CDATA[Physical stimulation by REAC and BMP4/WNT-1 inhibitor synergistically enhance cardiogenic commitment in iPSCs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217b6d5eed0c48479441d

It is currently known that pluripotent stem cells can be committed in vitro to the cardiac lineage by the modulation of specific signaling pathways, but it is also well known that, despite the significant increase in cardiomyocyte yield provided by the currently available conditioned media, the resulting cardiogenic commitment remains a highly variable process. Previous studies provided evidence that radio electric fields asymmetrically conveyed through the Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC) technology are able to commit R1 embryonic stem cells and human adipose derived stem cells toward a cardiac phenotype. The present study aimed at investigating whether the effect of physical stimulation by REAC in combination with specific chemical inductors enhance the cardiogenic potential in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The appearance of a cardiac-like phenotype in iPSCs cultured in the presence of a cardiogenic medium, based upon BMP4 and a WNT-inhibitor, was consistently increased by REAC treatment used only during the early fate differentiation for the first 72 hours. REAC-exposed iPSCs exhibited an upregulation in the expression of specific cardiogenic transcripts and morphologically in the number of beating clusters, as compared to cells cultured in the cardiogenic medium alone. Our results indicate that physical modulation of cellular dynamics provided by the REAC offers an affordable strategy to mimic iPSC cardiac-like fates in the presence of a cardiogenic milieu.

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<![CDATA[Gene Expression Signatures of Extracellular Matrix and Growth Factors during Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafdab0ee8fa60bc55cd

Pluripotent stem cells are uniquely capable of differentiating into somatic cell derivatives of all three germ lineages, therefore holding tremendous promise for developmental biology studies and regenerative medicine therapies. Although temporal patterns of phenotypic gene expression have been relatively well characterized during the course of differentiation, coincident patterns of endogenous extracellular matrix (ECM) and growth factor expression that accompany pluripotent stem cell differentiation remain much less well-defined. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine the global dynamic profiles of ECM and growth factor genes associated with early stages of pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation. Gene expression analysis of ECM and growth factors by ESCs differentiating as embryoid bodies for up to 14 days was assessed using PCR arrays (172 unique genes total), and the results were examined using a variety of data mining methods. As expected, decreases in the expression of genes regulating pluripotent stem cell fate preceded subsequent increases in morphogen expression associated with differentiation. Pathway analysis generated solely from ECM and growth factor gene expression highlighted morphogenic cell processes within the embryoid bodies, such as cell growth, migration, and intercellular signaling, that are required for primitive tissue and organ developmental events. In addition, systems analysis of ECM and growth factor gene expression alone identified intracellular molecules and signaling pathways involved in the progression of pluripotent stem cell differentiation that were not contained within the array data set. Overall, these studies represent a novel framework to dissect the complex, dynamic nature of the extracellular biochemical milieu of stem cell microenvironments that regulate pluripotent cell fate decisions and morphogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Nocodazole Treatment Decreases Expression of Pluripotency Markers Nanog and Oct4 in Human Embryonic Stem Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db39ab0ee8fa60bd40eb

Nocodazole is a known destabiliser of microtubule dynamics and arrests cell-cycle at the G2/M phase. In the context of the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) it is important to understand how this arrest influences the pluripotency of cells. Here we report for the first time the changes in the expression of transcription markers Nanog and Oct4 as well as SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 in human embryonic cells after their treatment with nocodazole. Multivariate permeabilised-cell flow cytometry was applied for characterising the expression of Nanog and Oct4 during different cell cycle phases. Among untreated hESC we detected Nanog-expressing cells, which also expressed Oct4, SSEA-3 and SSEA-4. We also found another population expressing SSEA-4, but without Nanog, Oct4 and SSEA-3 expression. Nocodazole treatment resulted in a decrease of cell population positive for all four markers Nanog, Oct4, SSEA-3, SSEA-4. Nocodazole-mediated cell-cycle arrest was accompanied by higher rate of apoptosis and upregulation of p53. Twenty-four hours after the release from nocodazole block, the cell cycle of hESC normalised, but no increase in the expression of transcription markers Nanog and Oct4 was detected. In addition, the presence of ROCK-2 inhibitor Y-27632 in the medium had no effect on increasing the expression of pluripotency markers Nanog and Oct4 or decreasing apoptosis or the level of p53. The expression of SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 increased in Nanog-positive cells after wash-out of nocodazole in the presence and in the absence of Y-27632. Our data show that in hESC nocodazole reversible blocks cell cycle, which is accompanied by irreversible loss of expression of pluripotency markers Nanog and Oct4.

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<![CDATA[Preclinical mouse model to monitor live Muc5b-producing conjunctival goblet cell density under pharmacological treatments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc8f4

Purpose

Modification of mucous cell density and gel-forming mucin production are established hallmarks of mucosal diseases. Our aim was to develop and validate a mouse model to study live goblet cell density in pathological situations and under pharmacological treatments.

Methods

We created a reporter mouse for the gel-forming mucin gene Muc5b. Muc5b-positive goblet cells were studied in the eye conjunctiva by immunohistochemistry and probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) in living mice. Dry eye syndrome (DES) model was induced by topical application of benzalkonium chloride (BAK) and recombinant interleukine (rIL) 13 was administered to reverse the goblet cell loss in the DES model.

Results

Almost 50% of the total of conjunctival goblet cells are Muc5b+ in unchallenged mice. The decrease density of Muc5b+ conjunctival goblet cell population in the DES model reflects the whole conjunctival goblet cell loss. Ten days of BAK in one eye followed by 4 days without any treatment induced a −18.3% decrease in conjunctival goblet cell density. A four days of rIL13 application in the DES model restored the normal goblet cell density.

Conclusion

Muc5b is a biological marker of DES mouse models. We bring the proof of concept that our model is unique and allows a better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate gel-forming mucin production/secretion and mucous cell differentiation in the conjunctiva of living mice and can be used to test treatment compounds in mucosal disease models.

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<![CDATA[HIF-2α Regulates NANOG Expression in Human Embryonic Stem Cells following Hypoxia and Reoxygenation through the Interaction with an Oct-Sox Cis Regulatory Element]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa6ab0ee8fa60ba7864

Low O2 tension is beneficial for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) maintenance but the mechanism of regulation is unknown. HIF-2α was found to bind directly to predicted hypoxic response elements (HREs) in the proximal promoter of OCT4, NANOG and SOX2 only in hESCs cultured under hypoxia (5% O2). This binding induced an array of histone modifications associated with gene transcription while a heterochromatic state existed at atmospheric O2. Interestingly, an enhanced euchromatic state was found when hESCs were exposed to hypoxia followed by 72 hours reoxygenation. This was sustained by HIF-2α which enhanced stemness by binding to an oct-sox cis-regulatory element in the NANOG promoter. Thus, these data have uncovered a novel role of HIF-2α as a direct regulator of key transcription factors controlling self-renewal in hESCs but also in the induction of epigenetic modifications ensuring a euchromatic conformation which enhances the regenerative potential of these cells.

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<![CDATA[The EP300, KDM5A, KDM6A and KDM6B Chromatin Regulators Cooperate with KLF4 in the Transcriptional Activation of POU5F1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc102c

POU5F1 is essential for maintaining pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). It has been reported that the constitutive activation of POU5F1 is sustained by the core transcriptional regulatory circuitry in ESCs; however, the means by which POU5F1 is epigenetically regulated remains enigmatic. In this study a fluorescence-based reporter system was used to monitor the interplay of 5 reprogramming-associated TFs and 17 chromatin regulators in the transcription of POU5F1. We show the existence of a stoichiometric effect for SOX2, POU5F1, NANOG, MYC and KLF4, in regulating POU5F1 transcription. Chromatin regulators EP300, KDM5A, KDM6A and KDM6B cooperate with KLF4 in promoting the transcription of POU5F1. Moreover, inhibiting HDAC activities induced the expression of Pou5f1 in mouse neural stem cells (NSCs) in a spatial- and temporal- dependent manner. Quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR (ChIP-qPCR) shows that treatment with valproic acid (VPA) increases the recruitment of Kdm5a and Kdm6a to proximal promoter (PP) and proximal enhancer (PE) of Pou5f1 whereas enrichment of Ep300 and Kdm6b was seen in PP but not PE of Pou5f1 promoter. These findings reveal the interplay between the chromatin regulators and histone modifications in the expression of POU5F1.

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<![CDATA[Differential Adhesion Molecule Expression during Murine Embryonic Stem Cell Commitment to the Hematopoietic and Endothelial Lineages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da29ab0ee8fa60b81d71

Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) make cell fate decisions based on intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The decision of ESC to differentiate to multiple lineages in vitro occurs during the formation of embryoid bodies (EB) and is influenced by cell-environment interactions. However, molecular mechanisms underlying cell-environmental modulation of ESC fate decisions are incompletely understood. Since adhesion molecules (AM) influence proliferation and differentiation in developing and adult tissues, we hypothesized that specific AM interactions influence ESC commitment toward hematopoietic and endothelial lineages. Expression of AM in the adherens, tight and gap junction pathways in ESC subpopulations were quantified. E-cadherin (E-cad), Claudin-4 (Cldn4), Connexin-43 (Cx43), Zona Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Zona Occludens-2 (ZO-2) transcript levels were differentially expressed during early stages of hematopoietic/endothelial commitment. Stable ESC lines were generated with reduced expression of E-cad, Cldn4, Cx43, ZO-1 and ZO-2 using shRNA technology. Functional and phenotypic consequences of modulating AM expression were assessed using hematopoietic colony forming assays, endothelial sprouting assays and surface protein expression. A decrease in E-cad, Cldn4, Cx43 and ZO-1 expression was associated with less commitment to the hematopoietic lineage and increased endothelial differentiation as evidenced by functional and phenotypic analysis. A reduction in ZO-2 expression did not influence endothelial differentiation, but decreased hematopoietic commitment two-fold. These data indicate that a subset of AM influence ESC decisions to commit to endothelial and hematopoietic lineages. Furthermore, differentially expressed AM may provide novel markers to delineate early stages of ESC commitment to hematopoietic/endothelial lineages.

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<![CDATA[Clonal Human Fetal Ventral Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neuron Precursors for Cell Therapy Research]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad7ab0ee8fa60bb893d

A major challenge for further development of drug screening procedures, cell replacement therapies and developmental studies is the identification of expandable human stem cells able to generate the cell types needed. We have previously reported the generation of an immortalized polyclonal neural stem cell (NSC) line derived from the human fetal ventral mesencephalon (hVM1). This line has been biochemically, genetically, immunocytochemically and electrophysiologically characterized to document its usefulness as a model system for the generation of A9 dopaminergic neurons (DAn). Long-term in vivo transplantation studies in parkinsonian rats showed that the grafts do not mature evenly. We reasoned that diverse clones in the hVM1 line might have different abilities to differentiate. In the present study, we have analyzed 9 hVM1 clones selected on the basis of their TH generation potential and, based on the number of v-myc copies, v-myc down-regulation after in vitro differentiation, in vivo cell cycle exit, TH+ neuron generation and expression of a neuronal mature marker (hNSE), we selected two clones for further in vivo PD cell replacement studies. The conclusion is that homogeneity and clonality of characterized NSCs allow transplantation of cells with controlled properties, which should help in the design of long-term in vivo experiments.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals the Unique Stem Cell Identity of Human Amniocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabfab0ee8fa60baff8a

Human amniotic fluid contains cells that potentially have important stem cell characteristics, yet the programs controlling their developmental potency are unclear. Here, we provide evidence that amniocytes derived from multiple patients are marked by heterogeneity and variability in expression levels of pluripotency markers. Clonal analysis from multiple patients indicates that amniocytes have large pools of self-renewing cells that have an inherent property to give rise to a distinct amniocyte phenotype with a heterogeneity of pluripotent markers. Significant to their therapeutic potential, genome-wide profiles are distinct at different gestational ages and times in culture, but do not differ between genders. Based on hierarchical clustering and differential expression analyses of the entire transcriptome, amniocytes express canonical regulators associated with pluripotency and stem cell repression. Their profiles are distinct from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and newborn foreskin fibroblasts. Amniocytes have a complex molecular signature, coexpressing trophoblastic, ectodermal, mesodermal, and endodermal cell-type-specific regulators. In contrast to the current view of the ground state of stem cells, ESCs and iPSCs also express high levels of a wide range of cell-type-specific regulators. The coexpression of multilineage differentiation markers combined with the strong expression of a subset of ES cell repressors in amniocytes suggests that these cells have a distinct phenotype that is unlike any other known cell-type or lineage.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for Mesenchymal−Epithelial Transition Associated with Mouse Hepatic Stem Cell Differentiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daffab0ee8fa60bc5f3f

Mesenchymal−epithelial transition events are related to embryonic development, tissue construction, and wound healing. Stem cells are involved in all of these processes, at least in part. However, the direct evidence of mesenchymal−epithelial transition associated with stem cells is unclear. To determine whether mesenchymal−epithelial transition occurs in liver development and/or the differentiation process of hepatic stem cells in vitro, we analyzed a variety of murine liver tissues from embryonic day 11.5 to adults and the colonies derived from hepatic stem/progenitor cells isolated with flow cytometry. The results of gene expression, immunohistochemistry and Western blot showed that as liver develops, the expression of epithelial markers such as Cytokeratin18 and E-cadherin increase, while expression of mesenchymal markers such as vimentin and N-cadherin decreased. On the other hand, in freshly isolated hepatic stem cells, the majority of cells (65.0%) co-express epithelial and mesenchymal markers; this proportion is significantly higher than observed in hematopoietic cells, non-hematopoietic cells and non-stem cell fractions. Likewise, in stem cell-derived colonies cultured over time, upregulation of epithelial genes (Cytokeratin-18 and E-cadherin) occurred simultaneously with downregulation of mesenchymal genes (vimentin and Snail1). Furthermore, in the fetal liver, vimentin-positive cells in the non-hematopoietic fraction had distinct proliferative activity and expressed early the hepatic lineage marker alpha-fetoprotein.

Conclusion

Hepatic stem cells co-express mesenchymal and epithelial markers; the mesenchymal−epithelial transition occurred in both liver development and differentiation of hepatic stem/progenitor cells in vitro. Besides as a mesenchymal marker, vimentin is a novel indicator for cell proliferative activity and undifferentiated status in liver cells.

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<![CDATA[Separate Developmental Programs for HLA-A and -B Cell Surface Expression during Differentiation from Embryonic Stem Cells to Lymphocytes, Adipocytes and Osteoblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6eaf8

A major problem of allogeneic stem cell therapy is immunologically mediated graft rejection. HLA class I A, B, and Cw antigens are crucial factors, but little is known of their respective expression on stem cells and their progenies. We have recently shown that locus-specific expression (HLA-A, but not -B) is seen on some multipotent stem cells, and this raises the question how this is in other stem cells and how it changes during differentiation. In this study, we have used flow cytometry to investigate the cell surface expression of HLA-A and -B on human embryonic stem cells (hESC), human hematopoietic stem cells (hHSC), human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) and their fully-differentiated progenies such as lymphocytes, adipocytes and osteoblasts. hESC showed extremely low levels of HLA-A and no -B. In contrast, multipotent hMSC and hHSC generally expressed higher levels of HLA-A and clearly HLA-B though at lower levels. IFNγ induced HLA-A to very high levels on both hESC and hMSC and HLA-B on hMSC. Even on hESC, a low expression of HLA-B was achieved. Differentiation of hMSC to osteoblasts downregulated HLA-A expression (P = 0.017). Interestingly HLA class I on T lymphocytes differed between different compartments. Mature bone marrow CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressed similar HLA-A and -B levels as hHSC, while in the peripheral blood they expressed significantly more HLA-B7 (P = 0.0007 and P = 0.004 for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, respectively). Thus different HLA loci are differentially regulated during differentiation of stem cells.

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<![CDATA[BIN1 Induces the Formation of T‐Tubules and Adult‐Like Ca2+ Release Units in Developing Cardiomyocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52ba14d5eed0c4848adffe

Abstract

Human embryonic stem cell‐derived cardiomyocytes (hESC‐CMs) are at the center of new cell‐based therapies for cardiac disease, but may also serve as a useful in vitro model for cardiac cell development. An intriguing feature of hESC‐CMs is that although they express contractile proteins and have sarcomeres, they do not develop transverse‐tubules (T‐tubules) with adult‐like Ca2+ release units (CRUs). We tested the hypothesis that expression of the protein BIN1 in hESC‐CMs promotes T‐tubules formation, facilitates CaV1.2 channel clustering along the tubules, and results in the development of stable CRUs. Using electrophysiology, [Ca2+]i imaging, and super resolution microscopy, we found that BIN1 expression induced T‐tubule development in hESC‐CMs, while increasing differentiation toward a more ventricular‐like phenotype. Voltage‐gated CaV1.2 channels clustered along the surface sarcolemma and T‐tubules of hESC‐CM. The length and width of the T‐tubules as well as the expression and size of CaV1.2 clusters grew, as BIN1 expression increased and cells matured. BIN1 expression increased CaV1.2 channel activity and the probability of coupled gating within channel clusters. Interestingly, BIN1 clusters also served as sites for sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) anchoring and stabilization. Accordingly, BIN1‐expressing cells had more CaV1.2‐ryanodine receptor junctions than control cells. This was associated with larger [Ca2+]i transients during excitation–contraction coupling. Our data support the view that BIN1 is a key regulator of T‐tubule formation and CaV1.2 channel delivery. By studying the role of BIN1 during the differentiation of hESC‐CMs, we show that BIN1 is also important for CaV1.2 channel clustering, junctional SR organization, and the establishment of excitation–contraction coupling. stem cells 2019;37:54–64

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<![CDATA[Human Embryonic Stem Cells Express Elevated Levels of Multiple Pro-Apoptotic BCL-2 Family Members]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac901

Two of the greatest challenges in regenerative medicine today remain (1) the ability to culture human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) at a scale sufficient to satisfy clinical demand and (2) the ability to eliminate teratoma-forming cells from preparations of cells with clinically desirable phenotypes. Understanding the pathways governing apoptosis in hESCs may provide a means to address these issues. Limiting apoptosis could aid scaling efforts, whereas triggering selective apoptosis in hESCs could eliminate unwanted teratoma-forming cells. We focus here on the BCL-2 family of proteins, which regulate mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis. We used quantitative PCR to compare the steady-state expression profile of all human BCL-2 family members in hESCs with that of human primary cells from various origins and two cancer lines. Our findings indicate that hESCs express elevated levels of the pro-apoptotic BH3-only BCL-2 family members NOXA, BIK, BIM, BMF and PUMA when compared with differentiated cells and cancer cells. However, compensatory expression of pro-survival BCL-2 family members in hESCs was not observed, suggesting a possible explanation for the elevated rates of apoptosis observed in proliferating hESC cultures, as well as a mechanism that could be exploited to limit hESC-derived neoplasms.

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<![CDATA[Different reprogramming propensities in plants and mammals: Are small variations in the core network wirings responsible?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc274

Although the plant and animal kingdoms were separated more than 1,6 billion years ago, multicellular development is for both guided by similar transcriptional, epigenetic and posttranscriptional machinery. One may ask to what extent there are similarities and differences in the gene regulation circuits and their dynamics when it comes to important processes like stem cell regulation. The key players in mouse embryonic stem cells governing pluripotency versus differentiation are Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog. Correspondingly, the WUSCHEL and CLAVATA3 genes represent a core in the Shoot Apical Meristem regulation for plants. In addition, both systems have designated genes that turn on differentiation. There is very little molecular homology between mammals and plants for these core regulators. Here, we focus on functional homologies by performing a comparison between the circuitry connecting these players in plants and animals and find striking similarities, suggesting that comparable regulatory logics have been evolved for stem cell regulation in both kingdoms. From in silico simulations we find similar differentiation dynamics. Further when in the differentiated state, the cells are capable of regaining the stem cell state. We find that the propensity for this is higher for plants as compared to mammalians. Our investigation suggests that, despite similarity in core regulatory networks, the dynamics of these can contribute to plant cells being more plastic than mammalian cells, i.e. capable to reorganize from single differentiated cells to whole plants—reprogramming. The presence of an incoherent feed-forward loop in the mammalian core circuitry could be the origin of the different reprogramming behaviour.

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<![CDATA[Induction and Enhancement of Cardiac Cell Differentiation from Mouse and Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Cyclosporin-A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b672d7

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are novel stem cells derived from adult mouse and human tissues by reprogramming. Elucidation of mechanisms and exploration of efficient methods for their differentiation to functional cardiomyocytes are essential for developing cardiac cell models and future regenerative therapies. We previously established a novel mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) and iPSC differentiation system in which cardiovascular cells can be systematically induced from Flk1+ common progenitor cells, and identified highly cardiogenic progenitors as Flk1+/CXCR4+/VE-cadherin (FCV) cells. We have also reported that cyclosporin-A (CSA) drastically increases FCV progenitor and cardiomyocyte induction from mouse ESCs. Here, we combined these technologies and extended them to mouse and human iPSCs. Co-culture of purified mouse iPSC-derived Flk1+ cells with OP9 stroma cells induced cardiomyocyte differentiation whilst addition of CSA to Flk1+ cells dramatically increased both cardiomyocyte and FCV progenitor cell differentiation. Spontaneously beating colonies were obtained from human iPSCs by co-culture with END-2 visceral endoderm-like cells. Appearance of beating colonies from human iPSCs was increased approximately 4.3 times by addition of CSA at mesoderm stage. CSA-expanded human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes showed various cardiac marker expressions, synchronized calcium transients, cardiomyocyte-like action potentials, pharmacological reactions, and ultra-structural features as cardiomyocytes. These results provide a technological basis to obtain functional cardiomyocytes from iPSCs.

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<![CDATA[Mapping the Mechanome of Live Stem Cells Using a Novel Method to Measure Local Strain Fields In Situ at the Fluid-Cell Interface]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bcea40

During mesenchymal condensation, the initial step of skeletogenesis, transduction of minute mechanical forces to the nucleus is associated with up or down-regulation of genes, ultimately resulting in formation of the skeletal template and appropriate cell lineage commitment. The summation of these biophysical cues affects the cell's shape and fate. Here, we predict and measure surface strain, in live stem cells, in response to controlled delivery of stresses, providing a platform to direct short-term structure - function relationships and long-term fate decisions. We measure local strains on stem cell surfaces using fluorescent microbeads coated with Concanavalin A. During delivery of controlled mechanical stresses, 4-Dimensional (x,y,z,t) displacements of the bound beads are measured as surface strains using confocal microscopy and image reconstruction. Similarly, micro-particle image velocimetry (μ-piv) is used to track flow fields with fluorescent microspheres. The measured flow velocity gradient is used to calculate stress imparted by fluid drag at the surface of the cell. We compare strain measured on cell surfaces with those predicted computationally using parametric estimates of the cell's elastic and shear modulus. Finally, cross-correlating stress - strain data to measures of gene transcription marking lineage commitment enables us to create stress - strain - fate maps, for live stem cells in situ. The studies show significant correlations between live stem cell stress - strain relationships and lineage commitment. The method presented here provides a novel means to probe the live stem cell's mechanome, enabling mechanistic studies of the role of mechanics in lineage commitment as it unfolds.

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