Propagation of Adult SSCs: From Mouse to Human.

Propagation of Adult SSCs: From Mouse to Human.

Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013: 384734
Martin LA, Seandel M

Adult spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) represent a distinctive source of stem cells in mammals for several reasons. First, by giving rise to spermatogenesis, SSCs are responsible for the propagation of a father’s genetic material. As such, autologous SSCs have been considered for treatment of infertility and other purposes, including correction of inherited disorders. Second, adult spermatogonia can spontaneously produce embryonic-like stem cells in vitro, which could be used as an alternative for therapeutic, diagnostic, or drug discovery strategies for humans. Therefore, an increasing urgency is driving efforts to understand the biology of SSCs and improve techniques to manipulate them in vitro as a prerequisite to achieve the aforementioned goals. The characterization of adult SSCs also requires reproducible methods to isolate and maintain them in long-term culture. Herein, we describe recent major advances and challenges in propagation of adult SSCs from mice and humans during the past few years, including the use of unique cell surface markers and defined cultured conditions. HubMed – drug


Essential Roles of the Kar2/BiP Molecular Chaperone Downstream of the UPR Pathway in Cryptococcus neoformans.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58956
Jung KW, Kang HA, Bahn YS

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a central hub where secreted or membrane-bound proteins are maturated and folded properly in eukaryotes. Maintenance of ER homeostasis is particularly important for human fungal pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, which encounter a plethora of host-mediated stresses during infection. Our previous study demonstrated that the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, composed of the evolutionarily conserved Ire1 kinase and the unique Hxl1 transcription factor, has pleiotropic roles in ER stress response, thermotolerance, antifungal drug resistance, and virulence in C. neoformans. Here, we functionally characterized an ER-resident molecular chaperone, Kar2/BiP, in C. neoformans. Conditional expression of KAR2 by the copper-regulated promoter revealed that Kar2 is essential for the viability of C. neoformans. Constitutive expression of KAR2 by the strong histone H3 promoter partially restores resistance to ER stress, cell wall stress, thermotolerance, and genotoxic stress in ire1? and hxl1? mutants, suggesting that Kar2 mainly functions downstream of the UPR pathway. Furthermore, Kar2 appears to control azole resistance in C. neoformans downstream of the UPR pathway without regulation of ERG11 or ERG3. Interestingly, we discovered that azole treatment is sensed as ER-stress and subsequently activates the Ire1-dependent Hxl1 splicing event and induction of KAR2 by the UPR pathway. In contrast, the constitutive expression of Kar2 is not sufficient to restore the Ire1-mediated regulation of capsule production in C. neoformans UPR mutants. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that Kar2 is not only essential for vegetative growth but also required for response and adaptation to the environmental stresses and antifungal drugs downstream of the UPR pathway in C. neoformans. HubMed – drug


Effects of Dual Targeting of Tumor Cells and Stroma in Human Glioblastoma Xenografts with a Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor against c-MET and VEGFR2.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58262
Navis AC, Bourgonje A, Wesseling P, Wright A, Hendriks W, Verrijp K, van der Laak JA, Heerschap A, Leenders WP

Anti-angiogenic treatment of glioblastoma with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)- or VEGF Receptor 2 (VEGFR2) inhibitors normalizes tumor vessels, resulting in a profound radiologic response and improved quality of life. This approach however does not halt tumor progression by diffuse infiltration, as this phenotype is less angiogenesis dependent. Combined inhibition of angiogenesis and diffuse infiltrative growth would therefore be a more effective treatment approach in these tumors. The HGF/c-MET axis is important in both angiogenesis and cell migration in several tumor types including glioma. We therefore analyzed the effects of the c-MET- and VEGFR2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib (XL184, Exelixis) on c-MET positive orthotopic E98 glioblastoma xenografts, which routinely present with angiogenesis-dependent areas of tumor growth, as well as diffuse infiltrative growth. In in vitro cultures of E98 cells, cabozantinib effectively inhibited c-MET phosphorylation, concomitant with inhibitory effects on AKT and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and cell proliferation and migration. VEGFR2 activation in endothelial cells was also effectively inhibited in vitro. Treatment of BALB/c nu/nu mice carrying orthotopic E98 xenografts resulted in a significant increase in overall survival. Cabozantinib effectively inhibited angiogenesis, resulting in increased hypoxia in angiogenesis-dependent tumor areas, and induced vessel normalization. Yet, tumors ultimately escaped cabozantinib therapy by diffuse infiltrative outgrowth via vessel co-option. Of importance, in contrast to the results from in vitro experiments, in vivo blockade of c-MET activation was incomplete, possibly due to multiple factors including restoration of the blood-brain barrier resulting from cabozantinib-induced VEGFR2 inhibition. In conclusion, cabozantinib is a promising therapy for c-MET positive glioma, but improving delivery of the drug to the tumor and/or the surrounding tissue may be needed for full activity. HubMed – drug


Identification of Human Embryonic Progenitor Cell Targeting Peptides Using Phage Display.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58200
Bignone PA, Krupa RA, Sternberg H, Funk WD, Snyder EY, West MD, Larocca D

Human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells are capable of differentiation into derivatives of all three primary embryonic germ layers and can self-renew indefinitely. They therefore offer a potentially scalable source of replacement cells to treat a variety of degenerative diseases. The ability to reprogram adult cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has now enabled the possibility of patient-specific hPS cells as a source of cells for disease modeling, drug discovery, and potentially, cell replacement therapies. While reprogramming technology has dramatically increased the availability of normal and diseased hPS cell lines for basic research, a major bottleneck is the critical unmet need for more efficient methods of deriving well-defined cell populations from hPS cells. Phage display is a powerful method for selecting affinity ligands that could be used for identifying and potentially purifying a variety of cell types derived from hPS cells. However, identification of specific progenitor cell-binding peptides using phage display may be hindered by the large cellular heterogeneity present in differentiating hPS cell populations. We therefore tested the hypothesis that peptides selected for their ability to bind a clonal cell line derived from hPS cells would bind early progenitor cell types emerging from differentiating hPS cells. The human embryonic stem (hES) cell-derived embryonic progenitor cell line, W10, was used and cell-targeting peptides were identified. Competition studies demonstrated specificity of peptide binding to the target cell surface. Efficient peptide targeted cell labeling was accomplished using multivalent peptide-quantum dot complexes as detected by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The cell-binding peptides were selective for differentiated hPS cells, had little or no binding on pluripotent cells, but preferential binding to certain embryonic progenitor cell lines and early endodermal hPS cell derivatives. Taken together these data suggest that selection of phage display libraries against a clonal progenitor stem cell population can be used to identify progenitor stem cell targeting peptides. The peptides may be useful for monitoring hPS cell differentiation and for the development of cell enrichment procedures to improve the efficiency of directed differentiation toward clinically relevant human cell types. HubMed – drug



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