Volume 8.20 | May 28

Neural Cell News 8.20 May 28, 2014
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
Mice with “Mohawks” Help Scientists Link Autism to Two Biological Pathways in Brain
Researchers knocked out production in mice of a protein called Cntnap4. This protein had been found in earlier studies in specialized brain cells, known as interneurons, in people with a history of autism. Researchers found that knocking out Cntnap4 affected two highly specialized chemical messengers in the brain, GABA and dopamine. In Mohawk-coiffed mice, reduced Cntnap4 production led to depressed GABA signaling and overstimulation with dopamine. [Press release from NYU Langone Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract
Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Molecular Profiling of Neurons Based on Connectivity
Researchers report the development of an approach for molecularly profiling projective neurons. They showed that ribosomes can be tagged with a camelid nanobody raised against GFP and that this system can be engineered to selectively capture translating mRNAs from neurons retrogradely labeled with GFP. [Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Targeting Self-Renewal in High-Grade Brain Tumors Leads to Loss of Brain Tumor Stem Cells and Prolonged Survival
Lineage tracing demonstrates that single Tlx+ cells can self-renew and generate Tlx tumor cells in primary tumors, suggesting that they are brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs). After introducing a BTSC-specific knock-out of the Tlx gene in primary mouse tumors, researchers observed a loss of self-renewal of BTSCs and prolongation of animal survival, accompanied by induction of essential signaling pathways mediating cell-cycle arrest, cell death, and neural differentiation. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

ALK5-Dependent TGF-β Signaling Is a Major Determinant of Late-Stage Adult Neurogenesis
Consistent with a function of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in adult neurogenesis, genetic deletion of the TGF-β receptor ALK5 reduced the number, migration and dendritic arborization of newborn neurons. Conversely, constitutive activation of neuronal ALK5 in forebrain caused a marked increase in these aspects of neurogenesis and was associated with higher expression of c-Fos in newborn neurons and with stronger memory function. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Lineage-Specific Splicing of a Brain-Enriched Alternative Exon Promotes Glioblastoma Progression
Investigators determined that lineage-specific splicing of a brain-enriched cassette exon in the membrane-binding tumor suppressor annexin A7 (ANXA7) diminishes endosomal targeting of the EGFR oncoprotein, consequently enhancing EGFR signaling during brain tumor progression. The alternative ANXA7 splicing trait was present in precursor cells, suggesting that glioblastoma cells inherit the trait from a potential tumor-initiating ancestor and that these cells exploit this trait through accumulation of mutations that enhance EGFR signaling. [J Clin Invest] Full Article | Press Release

Brain Pericytes Acquire a Microglial Phenotype after Stroke
Scientists investigated the role of pericytes in ischemic stroke. They demonstrated that human brain-derived pericytes adopt a microglial phenotype and upregulate mRNA specific for activated microglial cells under hypoxic conditions in vitro. [Acta Neuropathol] Full Article | Press Release

A TIGAR-Regulated Metabolic Pathway Is Critical for Protection of Brain Ischemia
The authors hypothesized that TP53-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR) plays a neuroprotective role in brain ischemia as neurons do not rely on glycolysis but are vulnerable to oxidative stress. They found that TIGAR was highly expressed in brain neurons and was rapidly upregulated in response to ischemia/reperfusion insult in a TP53-independent manner. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Cdk5-Dependent Mst3 Phosphorylation and Activity Regulate Neuronal Migration through RhoA Inhibition
Scientists showed that Mst3, a serine/threonine kinase highly expressed in the developing mouse brain, is essential for radial neuronal migration and final neuronal positioning in the developing mouse neocortex. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Selective Activation of mTORC1 Signaling Recapitulates Microcephaly, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Researchers generated transgenic mice expressing a gain-of-function mutant of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the forebrain in a temporally controlled manner. Selective activation of mTORC1 in embryonic stages induced cortical atrophy caused by prominent apoptosis of neuronal progenitors, associated with upregulation of HIF-1α. [Cell Rep] Abstract | Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Brain Food: NeuroCult SM1 for Long-Term Primary Neuronal Culture. View Data!
 
REVIEWS
Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in the Postnatal Brain
Sonic hedgehog is a pleiotropic factor in the developing central nervous system, driving proliferation, specification, and axonal targeting in multiple sites within the forebrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord. The authors review recent findings revealing the function of this fascinating pathway in the postnatal and adult brain, and highlight ongoing areas of investigation into its actions long past the time when it shapes the developing brain. [Semin Cell Dev Biol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
StemCells, Inc. Advances Clinical Trial in Age-Related Macular Degeneration to Final Cohort
StemCells, Inc. announced that it has transplanted the Company’s proprietary HuCNS-SC® (purified human neural stem cells) into the first five patients in the final cohort of its 16-patient Phase I/II trial for geographic atrophy of age related macular degeneration. Each of the eight patients in this second cohort will receive a dose of 1 million stem cells into the most affected eye. [StemCells, Inc.] Press Release

Neurotrope, Inc. Collaborating with Dr. Paul Wender and Stanford University on Bryostatin Analogues
Neurotrope, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Stanford University to study and, along with Dr. Paul Wender, investigate certain analogs of bryostatin, referred to as “bryologs”, as potential clinical candidates for the treatment of various neurological disorders. [Neurotrope, Inc.] Press Release

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Funds 31 New Research Proposals in FY 2014 with Continued Focus on Contributing to Cures for Debilitating Diseases and Conditions
The board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation approved the Commission’s recommendation to fund 31 new proposals with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s $10.4 million FY2014 budget. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund] Press Release

From our sponsor: Free wallchart from Nature Neuroscience – Neural Stem Cells. Request your copy.
 
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 Cell Therapy Bioprocessing
September 15-16, 2014
Arlington, United States

NEW Bioprocess International
October 20-23, 2014
Boston, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Neurotoxicity and Epigenetics (Thomas Jefferson University)

NEW Scientist – Immunology/Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Max Planck Research Group Leader – Neuroscience (Center of Advanced European Studies and Research – Caesar)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Morphogenetic Signaling Pathways in Development and Disease (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurophysiology of Addiction (Medical University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Adult Neural Stem Cells (INSERM Institute for Neuroscience)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Parkinson’s Research (Tulane University)

Postdoctoral Fellow / Senior Research Associate – Neural Stem Cells (The University of Hong Kong)

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

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

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

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


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