Welcome to the 5th hESCreg newsletter
(December 15, 2009)
WHAT IS NEW IN THE hESCreg DATABASE?
42 new hESC lines registered in hESCreg
In the period 28 October – 14 December 2009 the European Human Embryonic Stem Registry has approved 42 new hESC lines from six European and EU - associated countries (Belgien, Denmark, France, Spain, Sweden and Turkey). The registry acts as a platform for coordination and cooperation between 74 hESC providers from 24 countries worldwide. 661 hESC lines are currently registered in hESCreg. Nearly one-third of these hESC lines, i.e. 231 lines, are available for research. 40 available hESC lines carry a genetic modification, among them several with Myotonic Distrophy type 1, Huntington´s disease and Fragile X Syndrome.
LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGULATORY LANDSCAPE OF HESC RESEARCH
New Finish hESC legislation in place
In Finland the Medical Research Act 488 from 1999 was amended in November 2009. The creation of embryos for research purposes is not allowed. The creation of IVF and SCNT embryos, research on PGD embryos as well as the derivation of hESC lines from supernumerary PGD or IVF embryos is not regulated by the law. The research on surplus IVF embryos is allowed. Dr. Timo Otonkoski (Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland) is hESCreg’s National Contact and SAB member.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN STEM CELL RESEARCH
First hESC lines approved for NIH funding in the US
The first 13 hESC lines have been approved by the National Institute of Health (NIH) being eligible for federal research under the new NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research (please refer to hESCreg Newsletter No. 2). The review, approval and inclusion of eligible hESC lines in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry by the NIH are regulated Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research. These cell lines are now registered in the new NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry (please refer to hESCreg Newsletter No. 4). 11 of the approved cell lines were developed by the Children's Hospital Boston and 2 lines by the Rockefeller University in New York City. There are further 96 submitted hESC lines under review by the NIH.
Read more: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/dec2009/od-02.htm
New guidelines for banking of iPS lines
Banking and authentication of pluripotent lines requires various properties such as unique identity, sterility, genomic integrity, expression of typical markers and pluripotency. Appropriate banking of pluripotent cell lines results in availability of this cell line for the research community and for prospective reproducibility of experimental data. In the Journal of Current Protocols of Stem Cell Biology Dr. Auerbach and colleagues from GlobalStem in Rockville, U.S.A. summarize and compare banking, state-of-the-art assays and advances in molecular biology and thus provide first approaches of basic guidelines towards reasonable cost and time manageable banking and authentication technologies for any research laboratories.
Read more: Authentication and banking of human pluripotent stem cells. Josephson R, Auerbach J. Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol
Chemical cocktail improves iPS harvest
For the first time in human, the group from Dr. Sheng Ding from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California dramatically improved speed and efficiency of induction of pluripotency by a chemical-mediated method. Compared to conventional viral induced iPS technology the production time of reprogrammed cells could be halved with chemical reprogramming and the harvest of iPS cells could be increased by factor 200. The technology could be a promising technique to produce large numbers of stem cells, perhaps in future from elderly persons that are usually more difficult to reprogram.
Read more: A chemical platform for improved induction of human iPSCs. Lin T, Ambasudhan R, Yuan X, Li W, Hilcove S, Abujarour R, Lin X, Hahm HS, Hao E, Hayek A, Ding S. Nat Methods. 2009 Nov;6(11):805-8. Epub 2009 Oct 18.
New approaches to restore fertility
Around 10 to 15 percent of couples cannot have children. Now a new experiment could be the basis for future treatments of infertility. The group of Dr. Renee Reijo Pera from Stanford University in Palo Alto has differentiated human embryonic stem cells into germ cells being able to enter and progress through meiosis and to develop into human germ cells. They have confirmed the important role of three RNA-binding proteins of the DAZ gene family in the development of human gametes. Trying now to produce germ cells using reprogrammed adult (iPS) cells this group is making a step forward to new approaches for natural conception of infertile persons.
Read more: Human DAZL, DAZ and BOULE genes modulate primordial germ-cell and haploid gamete formation. Kee K, Angeles VT, Flores M, Nguyen HN, Reijo Pera RA. Nature. 2009 Nov 12;462(7270):222-5. Epub 2009 Oct 28.
hESCreg MEMBER IN THE SPOTHLIGHT
Dr. Marisa Jaconi – Swiss national contact of hESCreg
Marisa E.E. Jaconi, Ph.D holds a faculty position at the Faculty of Medicine of the Geneva University. She directs her research group within the Department of Pathology and Immunology. She obtained her doctoral degree from the Faculty of Sciences of the Geneva University in 1992. After holding a post-doc position at the Geneva University Hospitals (Division of Infectious Diseases, where she also conducted her PhD work), 1992-1993 she then spent 3 years as a post-doc at Mayo Clinic (Department of Pharmacology) Rochester, Minnesota (USA) and 2 years at I.N.S.E.R.M, Unit 390 of cardiovascular physiopathology, Montpellier (France). She returned to Geneva in 1998 where she integrated the Laboratory of Biology of Aging at the Geneva University Hospitals. In 2003 Dr. Jaconi has received the Pfizer Award for her achievements in the cardiovascular field. Since 2005, see is now appointed at the Faculty of Medicine. She is currently a member of the Administration Council of the Geneva University Hospitals and board member of the Swiss Stem Cell Network (www.sscn.unige.ch). Since 2007 she is a member of the hESCreg´s scientific advisory board and hESCreg´s National Contact.
Dr. Jaconi’ s main research interests focus on embryonic stem cell (ESC) biology with a particular emphasis on cardiogenesis and the mechanisms of cardiac differentiation from both murine and human embryonic stem cells (hESC) with the ultimate goal of defining secure cardiac commitment and differentiation protocols. In particular, the team has addressed the developmental maturation of hESC-derived cardiomyocytes in culture, and their electrophysiological and pharmacological properties, thus providing the first general picture of integrative physiology of hESC-derived cardiac cells. Dr. Jaconi is now focusing efforts on deriving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) featuring monogenetic diseases such as the familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathies as important in vitro models for drug screening and investigation of molecular mechanisms and biomarkers. In parallel, in translational efforts to bring innovative stem cell technologies toward the first clinical applications, she is active in collaborative projects on QA/QC validation of protocols in GMP conditions as well as cell banking within the Cell Therapy Center at the Geneva University Hospitals. Ongoing projects also include the derivation and banking of new hESC and iPSC in chemically-defined, clinically-compliant conditions.
As a first researcher in Switzerland authorized to import hESC in 2002, she has been highly involved in the public debate on stem cells, efforts which have added favorably to the dialog between science, media, politics and society, and ultimately to the public acceptation of the Swiss stem cell law. She has launched the first interdisciplinary task force bringing together scientists and bioethicians to clarify the situation of spare embryos in Switzerland and the legal and ethical issues of such research.
Please find three of her relevant and recent publications below:
Developmental changes in cardiomyocytes differentiated from human embryonic stem cells: a molecular and electrophysiological approach. Sartiani L, Bettiol E, Stillitano F, Mugelli A, Cerbai E, Jaconi ME. Stem Cells. 2007;25(5):1136-1144.
Derivation of the first Swiss human embryonic stem cell line from a single blastomere of an arrested four-cell stage embryo. Feki A, Bosman A, Dubuisson JB, Irion O, Daboun S, Pelte MF, Hovatta O, Jaconi ME. Swiss Medical Weekly. 2008;138(37-38):540-550.
Fate of undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells within the rat heart: role of myocardial infarction and immune suppression. He Q, Trindade PT, Stumm M, Li J, Zammaretti P, Bettiol E, Dubois-Dauphin M, Herrmann F, Kalangos A, Morel D, Jaconi ME. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 2009;13(1):188-201.
EVENTS, COURSES AND PUBLICATIONS
Biochemical Society Focused Meeting on Revolutionising Drug Discovery With Stem Cell Technology,
Jan 18 - Jan 19, 2010, Stevenage, UK
4th Annual Stem Cells World Congress and Exhibition
Jan. 20 - Jan. 21, 2010, San Francisco, CA, USA
Cambridge Healthtech Institute's 17th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference 2010
Feb. 3 - Feb. 5, 2010, San Francisco, CA, USA
Keystone Symposia-Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation
Feb. 15 - Feb. 20, 2010, Keystone, CO, USA
Keystone Symposia-Cardiovascular Development and Repair
Feb. 28 - March 5, 2010, Keystone, CO, USA
Regenerative Medicine - Advancing to Next Generation Therapies
March 10 - March 14, 2010, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA
Keystone Symposia- New Paradigms in Cancer Treatment
March 23 - March 28, 2010, Victoria, British Columbia
Keystone Symposia- Integration of Developmental Signaling Pathways
March 23 - March 28, 2010, Victoria, British Columbia
Keystone Symposia-Islet Biology
April 12 - April 17, 2010m, Whistler, British Columbia
4th UK Mesenchymal Stem Cell Meeting
April 14, 2010, Leeds UK
SBE's Second International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering
May 2 - May 5, 2010, Boston, MA, USA
World Stem Cells & Regenerative Congress 2010
May 11 - May 13, 2010, London, UK
Estools International Symposium- "Stem Cells in Basic Biology & Disease"
May 26 - May 28, 2010, Lisbon, Portugal
ISSCR 8th Annual Meeting
June 16 - June 19, 2010, San Francisco, CA USA
UKNSCN Annual Scientific Meeting
July 12 - July 14, 2010, Nottingham, UK
3rd International Congress on Stem Cell and Tissue Formation
July 11 - July 14, 2010, Dresden, Germany
Basic course on “Update on pluripotent stem cells (hESC and iPS)
Feb. 8 - Feb. 12, 2010 Barcelona, Spain
Human DAZL, DAZ and BOULE genes modulate primordial germ-cell and haploid gamete formation. Kee K, Angeles VT, Flores M, Nguyen HN, Reijo Pera RA. Nature. 2009 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]
Live cell imaging distinguishes bona fide human iPS cells from partially reprogrammed cells. Chan EM, Ratanasirintrawoot S, Park IH, Manos PD, Loh YH, Huo H, Miller JD, Hartung O, Rho J, Ince TA, Daley GQ, Schlaeger TM. Nat Biotechnol. 2009 Nov; 27(11):1033-7. Epub 2009 Oct 11.
Reprogramming to pluripotency: from frogs to stem cells. Rossant J. Cell. 2009 Sep 18;138(6):1047-50.
Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human cord blood using OCT4 and SOX2. Giorgetti A, Montserrat N, Aasen T, Gonzalez F, Rodríguez-Pizà I, Vassena R, Raya A, Boué S, Barrero MJ, Corbella BA, Torrabadella M, Veiga A, Izpisua Belmonte JC. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Oct 2;5(4):353-7.
A chemical platform for improved induction of human iPSCs. Lin T, Ambasudhan R, Yuan X, Li W, Hilcove S, Abujarour R, Lin X, Hahm HS, Hao E, Hayek A, Ding S. Nat Methods. 2009 Nov;6(11):805-8. Epub 2009 Oct 18.
Highly Efficient Generation of Human Hepatocyte-like Cells from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Karim Si-Tayeb, Fallon K. Noto, Masato Nagaoka, Jixuan Li, Michele A. Battle, Christine Duris, Paula E. North, Stephen Dalton, and Stephen A. Duncan. Hepatology 9999, 999A
Vaccination with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Generates a Broad Spectrum of Immunological and Clinical Response against Colon Cancer. Li Y, Zeng H, Xu RH, Liu B, Li Z. Stem Cells. 2009 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Human embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Transplants Improve Recovery after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. Sharp J, Frame J, Siegenthaler M, Nistor G, Keirstead HS. Stem Cells. 2009 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]
Reprogramming of Human Fibroblasts to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Under Xeno-Free Conditions. Rodríguez-Pizà I, Richaud-Patin Y, Vassena R, González F, Barrero MJ, Veiga A, Raya A, Izpisúa Belmonte JC. Stem Cells. 2009 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]