Volume 9.25 | Jul 8

Neural Cell News 9.25 July 8, 2015
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
New Stem Cell Research Uncovers Causes of Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Researchers found that during the process of differentiation two key proteins change in a significant way in motor neurons, which could explain why these cells are more susceptible to degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy. [Press release from Royal Holloway, University of London discussing online publication in Scientific Reports] Press Release | Full Article
FREE Wallchart: Glioblastoma Multiforme
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
β2-Microglobulin Is a Systemic Pro-Aging Factor that Impairs Cognitive Function and Neurogenesis
Scientists identified β2-microglobulin, a component of major histocompatibility complex class 1 molecules, as a circulating factor that negatively regulates cognitive and regenerative function in the adult hippocampus in an age-dependent manner. [Nat Med] Abstract | Press Release

Transcriptional Mechanisms of Proneural Factors and REST in Regulating Neuronal Reprogramming of Astrocytes
Recently, the authors demonstrated that expression of Neurog2 or Ascl1 in postnatal mouse astrocytes generates glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. In this study, they took advantage of this model to study dynamics of neuronal cell fate acquisition at the transcriptional level. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Nuclear Pore Complex Remodeling by p75NTR Cleavage Controls TGF-β Signaling and Astrocyte Functions
Scientists showed that cleaved p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) is a component of the nuclear pore complex required for glial scar formation and reduced gamma oscillations in mice via regulation of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

A Post-Transcriptional Mechanism Pacing Expression of Neural Genes with Precursor Cell Differentiation Status
Scientists showed that 3′-untranslated regions of multiple neural transcripts contain AU-rich cis-elements (AREs) recognized by tristetraprolin (TTP/Zfp36), an RNA-binding protein previously implicated in regulation of mRNA stability. They also demonstrated that the efficiency of ARE-dependent mRNA degradation declines in the neural lineage because of a decrease in the TTP protein expression mediated by the nervous system-enriched microRNA miR-9. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Cytomegalovirus Infection Induces a Stem Cell Phenotype in Human Primary Glioblastoma Cells: Prognostic Significance and Biological Impact
Researchers investigated the relation between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of glioblastoma (GBM) cells and the presence of glioma cancer stem cells (GCSCs). The extent to which HCMV infection of primary GBM cells induced a GCSC phenotype was evaluated in vitro. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

Generation and Isolation of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
This protocol describes a robust, fast and reproducible differentiation protocol to generate human oligodendrocytes from pluripotent stem cells using a chemically defined, growth factor-rich medium. [Nat Protoc] Abstract

Ets Factors Regulate Neural Stem Cell Depletion and Gliogenesis in Ras Pathway Glioma
Investigators provide evidence that disruption of the Nf1-Ras pathway in the ventricular zone at multiple signaling nodes uniformly results in rapid neural stem cell depletion, progenitor hyperproliferation, and gliogenic lineage restriction. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

The Regulatory Machinery of Neurodegeneration in In Vitro Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Researchers assembled a genome-wide regulatory model, whose unbiased interrogation revealed 23 candidate causal master regulators of neurodegeneration in an in vitro model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, characterized by a loss of spinal motor neurons. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Physiologically Normal 5% O2 Supports Neuronal Differentiation and Resistance to Inflammatory Injury in Neural Stem Cell Cultures
Scientists demonstrated that culturing under 5% O2 conditions results in higher levels of mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, decreased glycolysis, and reduced levels of reactive oxygen species in neural stem cell cultures. [J Neurosci Res] Abstract

Generation of Late-Born Neurons in the Ventral Spinal Cord Requires the Coordination of Retinoic Acid and Notch Signaling
Researchers investigated the role of Mindbomb (Mib)-mediated Notch signaling in the differentiation of neural progenitors during late neurogenesis by overexpressing Mib and administering retinoic acid to Tg[hsp70-Mib:EGFP]. [Neurosci Lett] Abstract

Distinct Neurodegenerative Changes in an Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Model of Frontotemporal Dementia Linked to Mutant TAU Protein
The authors derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from individuals with frontotemporal dementia-associated MAPT mutations and differentiated them into mature neurons. Patient iPSC-derived neurons demonstrated pronounced TAU pathology with increased fragmentation and phospho-TAU immunoreactivity, decreased neurite extension, and increased but reversible oxidative stress response to inhibition of mitochondrial respiration. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Open Access JoVE Protocol: Discriminating NSCs from NPCs with the NeuroCult™ NCFC Assay
 
REVIEWS
Diversity of Astrocyte Functions and Phenotypes in Neural Circuits
Astrocytes tile the entire CNS. They are vital for neural circuit function, but have traditionally been viewed as simple, homogenous cells that serve the same essential supportive roles everywhere. The authors summarize breakthroughs that instead indicate that astrocytes represent a population of complex and functionally diverse cells. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

The Role of Myc and Let-7a in Glioblastoma, Glucose Metabolism and Response to Therapy
The authors review the roles of Myc and lethal-7a (let-7a) in glucose metabolism and tumor growth and addresses their future potential as prognostic markers and therapeutic tools in glioblastoma multiforme. They focus on the functions of Myc and let-7a in glucose uptake, tumor survival, proliferation, and mobility of glioma cells. [Arch Biochem Biophys] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Preclinical Data On Neuralstem’s Genetically Modified HK532-IGF-1 Stem Cells In Alzheimer’s Disease Presented
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that the poster “Human Neural Stem Cells Expressing IGF-1: A Novel Cellular Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease” was presented. [Press release from Neuralstem, Inc. discussing research presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting, Stockholm] Press Release

From our sponsor: Learn about air-liquid interface culture for respiratory research. Watch the video.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
ORIG3N™ Announces a Collaboration with the Sturge-Weber Foundation to Advance Therapeutic Research of Sturge-Weber Syndrome
ORIG3N, Inc. announced a collaboration with the Sturge-Weber Foundation to enable a better understanding of Sturge-Weber syndrome. As part of the research program, ORIG3N will collect patient blood samples and the samples will be reprogrammed into iPSCs and then differentiated into neurons. [ORIG3N, Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

Plans for a New Clinical Trial Offers Hope to Those with Motor Neurone Disease as a Result of Research at Lancaster University
A research initiative is emerging in the North-West of England through collaboration between the Association for the Independence of Disabled People (AID) and medical researchers at Lancaster University. AID aims to play a major role in raising the funds needed to finance this trial and has already raised over £80,000 before launching this appeal for public support. [Association For The Independence Of Disabled People (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

Genentech’s Ocrelizumab Significantly Reduced Both Relapses and Disability Progression versus Interferon Beta-1a (Rebif®) in Two Phase III Studies in Multiple Sclerosis
Genentech announced positive results from two pivotal studies evaluating the investigational medicine ocrelizumab compared with interferon beta-1a, a standard-of-care therapy, in people with relapsing multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. [Genentech, Inc.] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Establishes Agreement with Novella Clinical to Conduct ICT-107 Phase III Registration Trial in Glioblastoma
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced the establishment of an agreement with Novella Clinical to conduct the Phase III registration trial of ICT-107 in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

Investigator to Receive $1.5 Million Grant from the ALS Association to Help Fund Confirmatory Phase II Study of Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals’ NP001
Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that Robert G. Miller, M.D., Director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research Center at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, has been awarded a grant from The ALS Association for $1.5 million to help fund a Phase II clinical study of the company’s investigational therapy for ALS, NP001. [Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

AXON Neuroscience’s Vaccine to Halt Alzheimer’s Finishes Phase I Clinical Trial
A vaccine offering new hope for millions of Alzheimer’s disease patients, their physicians and caregivers has passed a Phase I safety trial, according to the creator of the vaccine, biotech firm AXON Neuroscience. [AXON Neuroscience SE] Press Release

Blaze Bioscience’s BLZ-100 Receives Orphan Drug Designation from FDA for Brain Cancer
Blaze Bioscience announced that the company has received orphan drug designation for BLZ-100 from the Office of Orphan Products Development of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for malignant brain tumors. [Blaze Bioscience, Inc.] Press Release

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Grant Funds New Study Model
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provided a grant to a Wayne State University School of Medicine professor to explore a new model of MS pathology. Alexander Gow, Ph.D., the Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Fellow Professor and associate director of the WSU Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, will use the three-year, $663,959 grant for his study, “Neurodegeneration associated with metabolic stress in oligodendrocytes.” [Wayne State University] Press Release
 
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 Cancer Diagnosis & Therapy Congress
September 3-4, 2015
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Fellowship – Neural Development and Cancer (Columbia University)

NEW Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Assistant Professor – Neurodegenerative Diseases (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

PhD Student – Biology of Brain Metastasis (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Neural Development and Function (Mayo Clinic)

Junior Research Group for Neuroscientists (Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience)

Aotearoa Foundation Neuroscience Fellowship (University of Auckland)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroplacentology (Children’s National Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow Positions – iPSC Research and Banking (University of Magna Graecia)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology/Neuroscience (Tulane University)


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