Volume 10.17 | May 4

Neural Cell News 10.17 May 4, 2016
Neural Cell News
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Scientists Turn Skin Cells into Heart Cells and Brain Cells Using Drugs
Scientists transformed skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using a combination of chemicals. All previous work on cellular reprogramming required adding external genes to the cells, making this accomplishment an unprecedented feat. [Press release from Gladstone Institutes discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Register Now: Webinar by Dr. Chad Cowan on Investigating Metabolic Disease with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Chemical Control of Grafted Human PSC-Derived Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease
The authors showed tunable rescue of motor function in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, following transplantation of human midbrain dopaminergic neurons differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells engineered to express DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drug). [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

MDM2 Inhibition Rescues Neurogenic and Cognitive Deficits in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome
The authors showed that loss of fragile X mental retardation protein leads to activation of adult mouse neural stem cells and a subsequent reduction in the production of neurons. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Homophilic Protocadherin Cell-Cell Interactions Promote Dendrite Complexity
Using transgenic and conditional knockout mice to manipulate γ-protocadherin (Pcdh) repertoire in the cerebral cortex, scientists showed that the complexity of a neuron’s dendritic arbor is determined by homophilic interactions with other cells. Neurons expressing only one of the 22 γ-Pcdhs can exhibit either exuberant or minimal dendrite complexity, depending only on whether surrounding cells express the same isoform. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Human iPSC-Derived Immature Astroglia Promote Oligodendrogenesis by Increasing TIMP-1 Secretion
Investigators generated astrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and demonstrated that immature astrocytes, as opposed to mature ones, promote oligodendrogenesis in vitro. [Cell Rep]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Polarizing the Neuron through Sustained Co-Expression of Alternatively Spliced Isoforms
Scientists showed that many 3′-terminal exons are persistently co-expressed with their alternatives in mammalian neurons. In an important example of this scenario, cell polarity gene Cdc42, a combination of polypyrimidine tract-binding, protein-dependent, and constitutive splicing mechanisms ensures a halfway switch from the general to the neuron-specific alternative 3′-terminal exon during neuronal differentiation. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Brain Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Directs the Transition from Stem Cells to Mature Neurons during Postnatal/Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis
To address the influence of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on the stages of hippocampal neurogenesis, scientists studied a postnatal/adult global Igf-I knockout (KO) mice and a nervous system Igf-I conditional KO. In both KO mice they found an accumulation of Tbr2+-intermediate neuronal progenitors, some of which were displaced in the outer granule cell layer and the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. [Stem Cells] Abstract

The G Protein-Coupled Receptor GPR157 Regulates Neuronal Differentiation of Radial Glial Progenitors through the Gq-IP3 Pathway
Activation of GPR157-Gq signaling enhances neuronal differentiation of radial glial progenitors (RGPs) whereas interfering with GPR157-Gq-IP3 cascade in RGPs suppresses neurogenesis. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Quantification of Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation and Neurotoxicity via a Genetic Reporter
Investigators generated a genetic reporter assay in pluripotent stem cells using newly-developed genome editing technologies in order to monitor differentiation efficiency and compare dopaminergic neuron survival under different conditions. [Sci Rep] Full Article

CD95 Maintains Stem Cell-Like and Non-Classical EMT Programs in Primary Human Glioblastoma Cells
Investigators showed that the expression of CD95 associates with stemness and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) features in glioblastoma tumors and cells and serves as a prognostic biomarker. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

GSK-3β-Induced Tau Pathology Drives Hippocampal Neuronal Cell Death in Huntington’s Disease: Involvement of Astrocyte–Neuron Interactions
Scientists identified a disease and stage-dependent upregulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) mRNA and protein levels in the Huntington’s disease hippocampus, with the active isoform pGSK-3β-Tyr216 being strongly expressed in dentate gyrus neurons and astrocytes at a time when phosphorylation of Tau at the AT8 epitope was also present in these same neurons. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

FREE Wallchart: Glioblastoma Multiforme
The Adult Ventricular–Subventricular Zone (V-SVZ) and Olfactory Bulb (OB) Neurogenesis
The authors review a broad range of discoveries that have emerged from studies of postnatal V-SVZ neurogenesis: the identification of neural stem/precursor cells as a subpopulation of astroglial cells, the neurogenic lineage, new mechanisms of neuronal migration, and molecular regulators of precursor cell proliferation and migration. [Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol] Abstract

Engineering of Adult Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis
The authors describe how recently developed virus- and transgenesis-based techniques will help to understand the functional effects of neurogenesis in health and disease, to design novel approaches to harness the potential for neural stem/progenitor cell-associated endogenous repair, and to induce the generation of neurons outside the main neurogenic niches in the adult brain. [Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol] Abstract

An Update on Potential Therapeutic Strategies of Parkinson’s Disease Based on Pathogenic Mechanisms
Illustrated in this review are newly found discoveries and evidence that contribute to the understanding of Parkinson’s disease pathogenic mechanism. [Expert Rev Neurother] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
Genentech Highlights Personalized Medicines and Cancer Immunotherapies
Genentech announced new results from 19 approved and investigational medicines will be presented. More than 200 abstracts have been accepted across eight cancer types, including four “late breakers” and nearly 30 oral presentations. [Press release from Genentech, Inc. discussing research to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

First Skin-to-Eye Stem Cell Transplant in Humans Successful
Researchers have safely transplanted stem cells derived from a patient’s skin to the back of the eye in an effort to restore vision. [Press release from Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO; Newswise Inc.) discussing research to be presented at the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, Seattle] Press Release

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TG Therapeutics, Inc. Launches First Clinical Trial in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for TG-1101 (Ublituximab)
TG Therapeutics, Inc. announced the opening of its Phase II clinical study of ublituximab, the company’s glycoengineered anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, in patients with relapsing remitting MS, a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. [TG Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

BioInvent, Oncurious NV and NMTRC Initiating Phase I/IIa Study with TB-403 for the Treatment of Medulloblastoma
BioInvent International announced it has initiated a Phase I/IIa study that will evaluate the safety and tolerability, and explore the preliminary efficacy, of TB-403 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory medulloblastoma, a rare, life-threatening brain tumor that mainly affects children. [BioInvent International AB] Press Release

Alkermes Announces Plan to Initiate Second Clinical Trial of ALKS 7119 Based on Preliminary Phase I Results
Alkermes plc announced preliminary findings from a Phase I clinical trial of ALKS 7119, an oral, novel small molecule that acts on multiple key receptor systems in the brain. ALKS 7119 is being developed for the treatment of agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other central nervous system indications. [Alkermes plc] Press Release

RXi Pharmaceuticals and Thera Neuropharma Enter into an Exclusive License Agreement for RXi’s Self-Delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) Platform Targeting SOD1 to Develop Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation and privately-held Thera Neuropharma, Inc. announced that they have entered into an exclusive license agreement for RXi’s novel and proprietary sd-rxRNA® platform to develop therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. [RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation] Press Release
Nine Years of Censorship
Canadian scientists are now allowed to speak out about their work — and the government policy that had restricted communications. [Nature News] Editorial

National Institutes of Health (United States)

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Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW iPSC Maintenance and Neuronal Culture Derivation Training Course
June 26, 2016
San Francisco, United States

NEW Gordon Research Conference – Tissue Niches & Resident Stem Cells in Adult Epithelia
August 7-12, 2016
Hong Kong, China

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Investigators – Aging and Metabolism Research (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Neurodegenerative Disease Biology (Johns Hopkins University)

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

Postdoctoral Position – Bioinformatics and Brain Transcriptomics (Cornell University)

Research Associate – Neuroscience (Indiana University)

Engineering Project Lead (Cytonome)

Faculty Positions – Brain Research (IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Peking University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience (University of Maryland Baltimore)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroscience (Washington University in St. Louis)

PhD Studentship – Neuroscience (The Roskamp Institute)

Principal Investigator Positions – Neuroscience and Neurological Disorders (Institutes of Brain Science Fudan University)

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