Volume 7.43 | Oct 30

Neural Cell News 7.43 October 30, 2013
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
Yeast, Human Stem Cells Drive Discovery of New Parkinson’s Disease Drug Targets
Using a discovery platform whose components range from yeast cells to human stem cells, scientists have identified a novel Parkinson’s disease drug target and a compound capable of repairing neurons derived from Parkinson’s patients. [Press release from Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits
 
PUBLICATIONS ( Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Hierarchical Mechanisms for Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts to Neurons
Investigators reveal a hierarchical mechanism in the direct conversion of fibroblasts into induced neuronal cells mediated by the transcription factors Ascl1, Brn2, and Myt1l. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2-Mediated H3K27 Trimethylation Mediates Neurodegeneration in Ataxia-Telangiectasia
The symptoms of ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) include a progressive neurodegeneration caused by ATM protein deficiency. The authors previously found that nuclear accumulation of histone deacetylase-4, HDAC4, contributes to this degeneration; they now report that increased trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys27 (H3K27me3) mediated by polycomb repressive complex 2 is also important in the A-T phenotype. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Conserved miR-8/miR-200 Defines a Glial Niche that Controls Neuroepithelial Expansion and Neuroblast Transition
Researchers showed that loss of the Drosophila microRNA mir-8 results in both excess proliferation and ectopic neuroblast transition. Unexpectedly, mir-8 is expressed in a subpopulation of optic-lobe-associated cortex glia that extend processes that ensheath the neuroepithelium, suggesting that glia cells communicate with the neuroepithelium. [Dev Cell] Abstract

Targeting RNA Foci in iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons from ALS Patients with a C9ORF72 Repeat Expansion
Researchers report a cellular model of the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (C9-ALS) with motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from ALS patients carrying the C9ORF72 repeat expansion. No significant loss of C9ORF72 expression was observed, and knockdown of the transcript was not toxic to cultured human motor neurons. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

iPSC-Derived Neural Precursors Exert a Neuroprotective Role in Immune-Mediated Demyelination via the Secretion of LIF
Scientists showed that mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) – derived neural stem/precursor cells – when intrathecally transplanted after disease onset-ameliorate clinical and pathological features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Catecholamine Metabolism Drives Generation of Mitochondrial DNA Deletions in Dopaminergic Neurons
Scientists developed novel polymerase chain reaction strategies to detect distinct mitochondrial DNA deletions and monitor their accumulation patterns. Applying these approaches in in vitro and in vivo models, they showed that catecholamine metabolism drives the generation and accumulation of these mitochondrial DNA mutations. [Brain ] Abstract

Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cortical Neurons Integrate in Stroke-Injured Cortex and Improve Functional Recovery
Researchers generated progenitors in vitro, expressing specific cortical markers and giving rise to functional neurons, from long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial-like stem cells, produced from adult human fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. [Brain] Abstract | Press Release

ß-Arrestin Protects Neurons by Mediating Endogenous Opioid Arrest of Inflammatory Microglia
Scientists showed that microglial ß-arrestin mediates the ability of dynorphin/kappa-opioid receptor to limit endotoxin-elicited production of pro-inflammatory effectors and cytokines, subsequently protecting neurons from inflammation-induced neurotoxicity. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

Generation of Neuronal Progenitor Cells in Response to Tumors in the Human Brain
Scientists analyzed the tumor-parenchyma interface of neurosurgical resections for the presence of neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) and distinguished these physiological cells from the tumor mass. They observed that PSA-NCAM-positive NPCs accumulate at the border of high-grade astrocytomas and display a marker profile consistent with immature migratory neuronal progenitor cells. [Stem Cells ] Abstract

Pten Loss in Olig2 Expressing Neural Progenitor Cells and Oligodendrocytes Leads to Interneuron Dysplasia and Leukodystrophy
Opposition of the pathway by treatment of human primary neural progenitor cells (NPCs) with the PI3K inhibitor, NVP-BKM120, blocked in vitro differentiation of neurons and oligodendroglia indicating PI3K/PTEN effects on NPCs can be bi-directional. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Protein Phosphatase 4 and Smek Complex Negatively Regulate Par3 and Promote Neuronal Differentiation of Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells
Scientists showed that Smek1, a regulatory subunit of the serine/threonine protein phosphatase PP4, promotes neuronal differentiation and suppresses the proliferative capacity of neural progenitor cells. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Take the "if" out of "diff": Reduce variability when differentiating to neural progenitors
 
REVIEWS
Evolving Concepts of Gliogenesis: A Look Way Back and Ahead to the Next 25 Years
The authors review classic and new roles identified for astrocytes and oligodendrocytes by recent studies. They propose that delineating genetic and developmental programs across species will be essential to understand the core functions of glia that allow enhanced neuronal function and to achieve new insights into glial roles in higher-order brain function and neurological disease. [Neuron] Full Article

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
Alzheon Launches with Veteran Team and Funding to Accelerate Drug Development in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders
Alzheon, Inc. announced the launch of the company, the securing of initial private financing, and the signing of an exclusive license agreement to a novel clinical drug candidate for Alzheimer’s disease, a family of analogs, and a drug development platform of chemotypes and clinical datasets developed by BELLUS Health of Quebec, Canada. [Alzheon, Inc.] Press Release

New Research Grants from Alzheimer’s Association and Global Down Syndrome Foundation Explore Links between Alzheimer’s and Down Syndrome
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome have awarded $1.2 million in research grants to five scientists for innovative investigations that explore the development of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with Down syndrome. [Alzheimer’s Association] Press Release

GE Healthcare Announces FDA Approval of Vizamyl™ (Flutemetamol F18 Injection) for Detection of Beta Amyloid
GE Healthcare announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Vizamyl™, a radioactive diagnostic agent indicated for Positron Emission Tomography imaging of the brain to estimate beta amyloid neuritic plaque density in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of cognitive decline. [GE Healthcare] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
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)
 
EVENTS
NEW Shifting Paradigms on Alzheimer’s Disease
December 3, 2013
Indianapolis, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell and Neural Cell Biology (KU Leuven)

Postdoctoral Position – Regenerative Neurology (University of Edinburgh)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience (Harvard Medical School)

Manufacturing Manager (StemCells Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Brain Cancer (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

PhD Studentship – Neuroscience (Tübingen University)

Postdoctoral Position – Glia and Neural Stem/Progenitor Cell Interactions (University of Kentucky College)

Tenure-Track Faculty Position – Neuroscience (University of Utah)

Scientist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

Research Associate/Scientist – Antibodies Group (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)


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