Volume 8.11 | Mar 26

Neural Cell News 8.11 March 26, 2014
Neural Cell News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
New Approach Makes Cancer Cells Explode
Researchers have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, literally explode. When mice were given the substance, which can be given in tablet form, tumor growth was reversed and survival was prolonged. [Press release from Karolinska Institutet discussing online prepublication in Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
SWI/SNF Complex Prevents Lineage Reversion and Induces Temporal Patterning in Neural Stem Cells
Scientists used Drosophila neuroblasts to demonstrate that the SWI/SNF component Osa prevents tumorigenesis by ensuring correct lineage progression in stem cell lineages. They showed that Osa induces a transcriptional program in the transit-amplifying population that initiates temporal patterning, limits self-renewal, and prevents dedifferentiation. [Cell] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

A Supercritical Density of Na+ Channels Ensures Fast Signaling in GABAergic Interneuron Axons
Investigators examined interneuron axons by confocally targeted subcellular patch-clamp recording in rat hippocampal slices. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

High-Efficiency Motor Neuron Differentiation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells and the Function of Islet-1
The authors developed a method for rapid and highly efficient differentiation of mature and functional motor neurons from human pluripotent stem cells by tightly modulating neural patterning temporally at a previously undefined primitive neural progenitor stage. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Role of BRCA1 in Brain Development
To determine its functional significance, scientists deleted BRCA1 in the developing brain using a neural progenitor-specific driver. The phenotype is characterized by severe agenesis of multiple laminated cerebral structures affecting most notably the neocortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and olfactory bulbs. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Direct Conversion of Mouse Fibroblasts into Induced Neural Stem Cells
Researchers describe a protocol to directly convert mouse fibroblasts into self-renewing induced neural stem cells that can be expanded in vitro, thereby overcoming the limitations associated with low reprogramming efficiency. [Nat Protoc] Abstract

ATM-Dependent Phosphorylation of MEF2D Promotes Neuronal Survival after DNA Damage
Investigators demonstrated that ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) phosphorylates and activates the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D), which plays a critical role in promoting survival of cerebellar granule cells. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

TIMP-1 Modulates Chemotaxis of Human Neural Stem Cells through CD63 and Integrin Signaling
Scientists demonstrated that tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) significantly enhances human neural stem cell adhesion and migration in a cell culture system. These effects were critically dependent on CD63, as short hairpin RNA-mediated ablation of CD63 expression attenuated the response. [Biochem J] Abstract

Chemotactic Responses of Neural Stem Cells to SDF-1α Correlate Closely with Their Differentiation Status
By comparing the transfilter migration rate, single-cell migration speed, and directional efficiency of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs) in stromal cell-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α)-induced Boyden chamber and Dunn chamber chemotaxis assays, the authors demonstrated that NSCs in varying differentiation stages possess different migratory capacity. [J Mol Neurosci] Abstract

Label-Free Characterization of Emerging Human Neuronal Networks
Researchers showed that by using a novel optical interferometric technique, they can non-invasively measure several fundamental properties of neural networks from the sub-cellular to the cell population level. They applied this method to quantify network formation in human stem cell derived neurons and show for the first time, correlations between trends in the growth, transport, and spatial organization of such a system. [Sci Rep]
Full Article
| Press Release | Video

Your Free Copy of the Nature Neuroscience Poster Neural Stem Cells Awaits
 
REVIEWS
Glial Epigenetics in Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration
The authors highlight current knowledge about epigenetic changes in glial cells occurring during central nervous system (CNS) injury, neuroinflammatory conditions and neurodegenerative disease. This review offers an overview of the current understanding of epigenetic regulation in glial cells in CNS disease. [Cell Tissue Res] Abstract

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

Cell Line Development Asia 2014
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
BrainStorm and Massachusetts General Hospital Sign Definitive Agreement for ALS Clinical Trial
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of NurOwn™ in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), pending FDA and Institutional Review Board approvals. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

Voyager Therapeutics Expands and Strengthens Scientific and Clinical Leadership to Advance Life-Changing Gene Therapies for CNS Disorders
Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy company developing life-changing treatments for fatal and debilitating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), announced that Bernard Ravina, M.D., M.S.C.E., has joined the company as Vice President of Clinical Development and Dinah Sah, Ph.D., has been named a permanent member of the leadership team after serving as Interim Senior Vice President of Neuroscience since the company’s launch early this year. [Voyager Therapeutics] Press Release

First Patient Enrolled in Genspera G-202 Phase II Glioblastoma Trial
GenSpera, Inc. announced that the first patient was enrolled in the Phase II clinical trial of its lead compound, G-202, in patients who have glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most prevalent type of primary brain cancer. This Phase II G-202 trial will treat up to 34 patients with GBM that has progressed or recurred after at least one other treatment. [GenSpera, Inc.] Press Release

From our sponsor: Pluripotent cell isolation for regenerative medicine. Request a free wallchart from Nature.
 
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 The 24th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN)
September 15-19, 2014
Hamburg, Germany

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells and Regeneration (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience & Cell Biology (Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurobiology (Italian Institute of Technology – IIT)

Postdoctoral Positions – Cellular Neuroscience and Autism (University of Edinburgh)

PhD Student Position – Retinal Research (Universität Tübingen)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Cell Culture Specialist – Manufacturing of Cell Therapy Products (Tisch MS Research Center of New York)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology & Alzheimer’s Disease (Tel Aviv University)

Assistant/Associate Professors – Allergic Inflammation and Sensory Neurobiology (North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Boris Family Fellowships – Neural Stem Cell Research (McMaster University)

Postdoctoral Position – Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disorders with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Università di Trento)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (VIB Vesalius Research Center Belgium)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientific Communications & Publishing Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


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