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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Proteoglycan Morphogenetic Markers, ESC PTM Regulation by LRRN1, Runx1-mediated Cell Proliferation, and Preconditioned MSCs for Bone Repair!

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The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Proteoglycans as Morphogenetic Markers of Tissue Development

A new review article from the lab of James Melrose (Royal North Shore Hospital and University of Sydney, St. Leonards, NSW, Australia) brings an update on the importance of surface chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in stem cells. Hayes et al. describe how cell surface proteoglycans can provide valuable information on pluripotency and differentiation potential of various stem cells and how they can also be employed to monitor tissue morphogenetic changes in development and tissue repair. For more information, read all the details at STEM CELLS.

LRRN1 Regulates ESCs via Pluripotency Factor PTMs

Continuing with glycoproteins, new research led by John Yu (Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan) recently discovered the abundant expression of a surface glycoprotein, leucine‐rich repeat neuronal protein 1 (LRRN1), on self-renewing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Liao et al. now report that LRRN1 may help to maintain the stability of pluripotency factors such as OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 via post-translational modifications, thus maintaining hESC self‐renewal capacity and pluripotency. For more details on LRRN1, head over to STEM CELLS now!

A Lipidic Role of Runx1 in Epithelial and Cancer Cell Proliferation

A new study from the lab of Tudorita Tumbar (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA) recently sought to discern the role of lipid metabolism in epithelial stem cell (SC) function and carcinogenesis. Interestingly, Jain et al. discovered that the epithelial stem cell- and cancer-associated factor Runx1 controlled the expression of the Scd1 and Soat1 lipid metabolism-associated genes. This mediated the control of fatty acid production to subsequently modulate membrane organization and facilitate signal transduction for rapid proliferation of both normal and cancer epithelial cells. For more on this exciting new study, see STEM CELLS now!

Hypoxic Preconditioning of MSCs for Bone Repair

Both hypoxic preconditioning and spheroidal aggregation promote mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) survival, engraftment, and therapeutic potential for musculoskeletal tissue repair. Researchers from the lab of J. Kent Leach (University of California, Davis, California, USA) recently tested the effects of the combined hypoxic preconditioning of MSCs grown as spheroids for bone repair. Reporting in STEM CELLS, Ho et al. now demonstrate that MSCs cultivated in this manner displayed the greatest osteogenic potential in vitro and enhanced bone healing following transplantation into rat critical‐sized femoral segmental defects. Overall, this suggests that hypoxic preconditioning combined with spheroid growth may represent a simple approach to improve MSC-based bone healing.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!