Volume 7.13 | Apr 3

Neural Cell News 7.13 April 3, 2013
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Mechanism of Mutant Histone Protein in Childhood Brain Cancer Revealed
New research may bring scientists closer to designing cancer therapeutics that can target tumors with pinpoint accuracy. The findings follow a recent series of discoveries by several international genome sequencing consortiums that directly links a mutated histone protein to a rare brain stem cancer in children called DIPG. [Press release from The Rockefeller University discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract

Gain Hands-On Training - New Course: Differentiation of hPSCs to Neural Progenitor Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Glioblastoma Stem Cells Generate Vascular Pericytes to Support Vessel Function and Tumor Growth
Scientists showed that glioma stem cells (GSCs) give rise to pericytes to support vessel function and tumor growth. In vivo cell lineage tracing with constitutive and lineage-specific fluorescent reporters demonstrated that GSCs generate the majority of vascular pericytes. Selective elimination of GSC-derived pericytes disrupts the neovasculature and potently inhibits tumor growth. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Degeneration and Impaired Regeneration of Gray Matter Oligodendrocytes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
In the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice, oligodendrocytes downregulate transporters that transfer glycolytic substrates to neurons and oligodendrocyte progenitors exhibit enhanced proliferation and differentiation, although the cause of these changes in oligodendroglia is unknown. Scientists found extensive degeneration of gray matter oligodendrocytes in the spinal cord of SOD1 ALS mice prior to disease onset. Although new oligodendrocytes were formed, they failed to mature, resulting in progressive demyelination. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

FIP200 Is Required for Maintenance and Differentiation of Postnatal Neural Stem Cells
Investigators report that ablation of FIP200, a gene essential for autophagy induction in mammalian cells, results in a progressive loss of neural stem cells and impairment in neuronal differentiation specifically in the postnatal brain, but not the embryonic brain, in mice. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

OPA1 Loss of Function Affects In Vitro Neuronal Maturation
Researchers showed that in rodent cortical primary neurons, downregulation of the OPA1 protein leads to fragmented mitochondria that become less abundant along the dendrites. Furthermore, this inhibition results in reduced expression of mitochondrial respiratory complexes as well as mitochondrial DNA, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, and diminished reactive oxygen species levels. [Brain] Abstract

Tumorigenic Potential of miR-18A* in Glioma Initiating Cells Requires NOTCH-1 Signaling
Using human glioma initiating cells researchers found that miR-18a* expression promotes clonal proliferation in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. Mechanistically, ERK-dependent induction of miR-18a* directly represses expression of DLL3, an autocrine inhibitor of NOTCH, thus enhancing the level of activated NOTCH-1. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Schwann Cell LRP1 Regulates Remak Bundle Ultrastructure and Axonal Interactions to Prevent Neuropathic Pain
Trophic support and myelination of axons by Schwann cells in the PNS are essential for normal nerve function. Investigators showed that deletion of the LDL receptor-related protein-1 (LRP1) gene in Schwann cells induces abnormalities in axon myelination and in ensheathment of axons by nonmyelinating Schwann cells in Remak bundles. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Ophiobolin A Induces Paraptosis-Like Cell Death in Human Glioblastoma Cells by Decreasing BKCa Channel Activity
Researchers investigated ophiobolin A (OP-A), a fungal metabolite from Bipolaris species, for its promising anticancer activity against human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells exhibiting varying degrees of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli. They found that OP-A induced marked changes in the dynamic organization of the F-actin cytoskeleton, and inhibited the proliferation and migration of GBM cells, likely by inhibiting big conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa) channel activity. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Lewy Body-Like α-Synuclein Aggregates Resist Degradation and Impair Macroautophagy
Activation of macroautophagy is suggested to facilitate degradation of certain proteinaceous inclusions, but it is unclear if this pathway is capable of degrading α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates. Scientists examined this issue by utilizing cellular models in which intracellular Lewy body-like α-syn inclusions accumulate after internalization of pre-formed α-syn fibrils into α-syn-expressing HEK293 cells or cultured primary neurons. They demonstrated that α-syn inclusions cannot be effectively degraded, even though they co-localize with essential components of both the autophagic and proteasomal protein degradation pathways. [J Biol Chem] Abstract

Phosphatidylinositol 4-Phosphate 5-Kinase α Negatively Regulates Nerve Growth Factor-Induced Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells
Scientists addressed whether type I phosphatidylinositol (PI) 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K)α, an isoform of PIP5K, could have a role in neurite outgrowth induced by nerve growth factor (NGF). For this purpose, they knocked down PIP5Kα in PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells by stable expression of PIP5Kα microRNA that significantly reduced PIP5Kα expression and PI 4,5-bisphosphate level. Interestingly, NGF-induced neurite outgrowth was more prominent in PIP5Kα-knockdown cells than in control cells. [Exp Mol Med] Full Article

Three-Dimensional Graphene Foam As a Biocompatible and Conductive Scaffold for Neural Stem Cells
The authors report the first utilization of graphene foam, a 3D porous structure, as a novel scaffold for neural stem cells (NSCs) in vitro. It was found that three-dimensional graphene foams can not only support NSC growth, but also keep cell at an active proliferation state with upregulation of Ki67 expression than that of two-dimensional graphene films. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Webinar: Brent Reynolds on Identification and Characterization of Neural Stem Cells

Imaging Structural Co-Variance between Human Brain Regions
This review discusses the state of current research into brain structural co-variance, its underlying mechanisms and its potential value in the understanding of various neurological and psychiatric conditions. [Nat Rev Neurosci] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.

Translational CNS Summit

Primorigen Receives Over $1.9 Million for Stem Cell Technology Development
Primorigen Biosciences, Inc. has announced that it has received a Phase II SBIR grant of $1,236,000 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. This grant adds to two other Phase I SBIR awards of over $672,000, which qualify the company to compete for over $2 M. in additional grants at the end of Phase I studies. [Primorigen Biosciences, Inc.] Press Release

BRAIN Initiative Builds on Work of the Allen Institute for Brain Science
Since its inception ten years ago the Allen Institute for Brain Science has been performing big science at the leading edge of brain research. The Allen Institute is pleased to see the White House expand on these efforts with the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative announced by President Obama. [Allen Institute for Brain Science] Press Release

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience Welcomes Obama’s BRAIN Project
The Obama administration formally announced its plan to fund the development of a comprehensive map of the brain’s activity with a project called Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), starting with an initial investment of $100 million in 2014. The 10-year research project is strongly supported by the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. [Max Planck Florida Institute] Press Release


National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

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 International “Stress and Behavior” Neuroscience and Biopsychiatry Conference
May 16-19, 2013
St. Petersburg, Russia

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells and Neurogenesis (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Lecturer or Reader – Associate Professor (University of Reading)

Postdoctoral Position – Adult Neurogenesis and Neural Survival Signaling (University of Kentucky)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Regulation of Gliomagenesis (UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas)

PhD Opportunity (University of East Anglia)

Director – Centre of Developmental Neurobiology (King’s College London)

PhD Studentship – Neuroscience (Warwick-Nanyang Technological University Neuroscience Programme)

Recruit Top Talent: Reach more than 50,000 potential candidates by posting your organization’s career opportunities on the Connexon Creative Job Board at no cost.

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