Volume 2.07 | Feb 24

     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY
The Performance of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Encapsulated in Cell-Degradable Polymer-Peptide Hydrogels
Researchers have encapsulated human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) degradable and cell-adhesive hydrogels using thiol-ene photopolymerization. They find that hMSCs survive equally well in this system, regardless of MMP-degradability. [Biomaterials]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Identification of Glaucoma Gene Brightens View for Future Therapies
Sequencing of the entire canine locus revealed that a gene called ADAMTS10 was the strongest disease-associated candidate. Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG)-affected dogs have a single mutation in the gene, which encodes a protein involved in processing the extracellular matrix. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in PLoS Genetics]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Mapping of the Disease Locus and Identification of ADAMTS10 as a Candidate Gene in a Canine Model of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
The Gly661Arg variant in ADAMTS10 found in the primary open angle glaucoma Beagles suggests that altered processing of extracellular matrix and/or defects in microfibril structure or function may be involved in raising intraocular pressure, offering specific biochemical targets for future research and treatment strategies. [PLoS Genet]

The Effect of Degradable Polymer Surfaces on Co-Cultures of Monocytes and Smooth Muscle Cells
The present work investigated the interactive co-cellular response of human monocytes and human vascular smooth muscle cells with a novel degradable, polar/hydrophobic/ionic polyurethane and compared it to a commercially available biomaterial, poly-lactic-glycolic acid as well as tissue culture polystyrene. [Biomaterials]

Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase Protects Cardiovascular Syndecan-1 from Oxidative Shedding
This study tests the hypothesis that extracellular superoxide dismutase protects against cardiac fibrosis mechanistically by limiting oxidative stress and oxidant-induced shedding of syndecan-1 in the extracellular matrix. [Free Radic Biol Med]

Collagen I Regulates the Self-Renewal of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Through Alpha2Beta1 Integrin- and DDR1-Dependent Bmi-1
Results indicate that collagen I stimulates the self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) mediated by Bmi-1 through alpha2beta1 integrin-dependent ILK, Notch, Gli-1, and DDR1-dependent Ras, PI3K/Akt, and ERK. [J Cell Physiol]

Endoglin Promotes TGF-Beta/Smad1 Signaling in Scleroderma Fibroblasts
This study has revealed an important profibrotic role of endoglin in scleroderma (SSc) fibroblasts. The endoglin/ALK1/Smad1 pathway could be a therapeutic target in patients with SSc if appropriately blocked. [J Cell Physiol]

Role of JNK/ATF-2 Pathway in Inhibition of Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) Expression and Apoptosis Mediated by Doxorubicin and Camptothecin in FTC-133 Cells
Researchers demonstrate that Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) play a critical role in camptothecin (CPT)- and doxorubicin (DOX)-induced down-regulation of TSP-1 expression: i) de novo ceramide synthesis pathway activates JNK 1/2 resulting in ATF-2 phosphorylation, ii) cell treatment by SP600125, a JNK specific inhibitor, strongly reduced ATF-2 phosphorylation and completely abolished CPT and DOX effects and iii) ATF-2 expression silencing greatly attenuated CPT- and DOX-induced down-regulation of TSP-1 expression and apoptosis. [Biochim Biophys Acta]

Electrospun Scaffolds of Self-Assembling Peptides with Poly(Ethylene Oxide) for Bone Tissue Engineering
Searching for suitable extracellular matrix substitutes, structural, mechanical and biochemical properties have to be considered. In order to join these two strategies, nano-fibrous electrospun scaffolds of hybrid polymer were designed and obtained by mixing poly(ethylene oxide) and self-assembling peptides in aqueous solution. [Acta Biomater]

Influence of Physical Properties of Biomaterials on Cellular Behavior
Increasing mesh size of the hydrogels resulted in an increase in cellular proliferation exhibiting the strong correlation between mesh size and cell growth, while mesh size had a differential effect on ECM accumulation and expression of cartilage specific markers. [Pharm Res]

Coordinated Regulation of Extracellular Matrix Synthesis by the MicroRNA-29 Family in the Trabecular Meshwork
Findings derived from this study identify the microRNA-29 family as a critical regulator of extracellular matrix (ECM) expression in the trabecular meshwork and suggest that its modulation by TGF-beta2 may be important in controlling ECM synthesis. [Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci]

Extracellular Matrix Functionalized Microcavities to Control Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell Fate
Polymeric microcavities functionalized with extracellular matrix components were used as an experimental in vitro model to investigate principles of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell fate control. [Macromol Biosci]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Gilead Sciences to Acquire Calistoga Pharmaceuticals for $375 Million
Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company focused on the development of medicines to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases, announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire Calistoga for $375 million. [Press Release]

FDA Clearance Allows Sale to Surgeons in U.S.
Ocular Systems, Inc. announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market the company’s human corneal endothelium delivery instrument, the EndoSerter™. [Ocular Systems, Inc. Press Release]

Researching Regenerative Medicine
A new facility at the University of Manitoba will allow researchers to pursue cutting-edge work in the field of regenerative medicine, which could lead to important new treatments for patients. The university’s Regenerative Medicine Program is the first of its kind in Western Canada. [University of Manitoba 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 BioBanking
July 11-12, 2011
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Postdoctoral Researcher Biophysics of Cell Attachment to Biomaterials (Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials)

Process Technical Development Scientist (StemCells, Inc.)

Quality Assurance Specialist – Gene Transfer & Somatic Cell Engineering Facility (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center )

Manager Clinical Affairs (Bioheart, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Germline Stem Cells (R. L. Brinster, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Research Associate (Imperial College London)

Postdoctoral Researcher (University of California – Irvine)

Postdoctoral Fellow in Systems Microscopy of Cell Migration (Karolinska Institutet)

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