Volume 5.06 | Feb 20

Extracellular Matrix News 5.06 February 20, 2014
Extracellular Matrix News
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Is Zinc the Missing Link for Osteoarthritis Therapies?
A study reveals that osteoarthritis-related tissue damage is caused by a molecular pathway that is involved in regulating and responding to zinc levels inside of cartilage cells. A protein called ZIP8 transports zinc inside these cells, setting off a cascade of molecular events that result in the destruction of cartilage tissue in mice. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in Cell]
Press Release
| Abstract | Graphical Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Drosophila miR-9a Targets the ECM Receptor Dystroglycan to Canalize Myotendinous Junction Formation
The authors find that precise levels of the extracellular matrix (ECM) receptor Dystroglycan (Dg) are required for myotendinous junctions formation in Drosophila and that Dg levels in this process are controlled by miR-9a. In the embryo, Dg is enriched at the termini of the growing muscles facing the tendon matrix and absent from miR-9a-expressing tendons. [Dev Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Scaffold-Mediated Lentiviral Transduction for Functional Tissue Engineering of Cartilage
This study aimed to generate a self-contained bioactive scaffold capable of mediating stem cell differentiation and formation of a cartilaginous extracellular matrix using a lentivirus-based method. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

IL-6 Trans Signaling Drives a STAT3 Dependant Pathway that Leads to Hyperactive TGF-β Signaling Promoting SMAD3 Activation and Fibrosis via Gremlin
Using healthy dermal fibroblasts in vitro researchers analyzed the signaling pathways that underscore the IL-6 mediated induction of collagen. They showed that IL-6 trans signaling is important and that the effect is dependent on STAT3, however the effect is indirect and mediated through enhanced TGF-β signaling and the classic downstream cellular mediator Smad3. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Conformational Transitions of the Crosslinking Domains of Elastin During Self-Assembly
Model elastin polypeptides were used to determine the structure of crosslinking domains during the assembly process and the effect of sequence alterations in these domains on assembly and structure. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Visualization of Extracellular Matrix Components within Sectioned Salmonella Biofilms on the Surface of Human Gallstones
The authors describe a method for sectioning and direct visualization of extracellular matrix components of the Salmonella biofilm on the surface of human cholesterol gallstones and provide a description of the major matrix components observed therein. [PLoS One] Full Article

Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Transplantation as a Potential Therapy for Collagen VI-Related Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Scientists developed a procedure for isolation of human stem cells from the adipose layer of neonatal skin. The adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) were examined for expression of extracellular matrix and related genes using gene expression array analysis. The therapeutic potential of ADSC was assessed after a single intramuscular transplantation in collagen VI-deficient mice. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Full Article

Covalently Tethered TGF-β1 with Encapsulated Chondrocytes in a PEG Hydrogel System Enhances Extracellular Matrix Production
Chondrocytes were encapsulated in PEG hydrogels functionalized with transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) with the goal of increasing proliferation and matrix production. Tethered TGF-β1 was found to be distributed homogenously throughout the gel, and its bioactivity was confirmed with a TGF-β1 responsive reporter cell line. [J Biomed Mater Res A] Abstract

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Brain Food: NeuroCult SM1 for Long-Term Primary Neuronal Culture. View Data!
Hyaluronan: Biosynthesis and Signaling
The review addresses the control of hyaluronan synthesis highlighting the critical role of hyaluronan synthase 2 in this context as well as discussing the recent findings related to covalent modifications which influence the enzyme activity. Moreover, the interactions with specific receptors and hyaluronan are described focusing on the importance of polymer size in the modulation of hyaluronan signaling. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
An Essential Step toward Printing Living Tissues
A new bioprinting method developed creates intricately patterned 3D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. The work represents a major step toward a longstanding goal of tissue engineers: creating human tissue constructs realistic enough to test drug safety and effectiveness. [Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University] Press Release

Prothelia and the University of Nevada, Reno Enter Into Exclusive Strategic Agreements with Alexion for Catastrophic, Ultra-Rare Neuromuscular Disorder
Prothelia Incorporated and University of Nevada, Reno announced that they have entered into strategic agreements with Alexion for the development of Laminin-111, a patented experimental protein replacement therapy for merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy, a life-threatening, ultra-rare disease caused by a genetic deficiency of the Laminin-211 protein. [PR Newswire Association LLC] Press Release

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AAAS Launches Open-Access Journal
Joining a herd of other scientific societies, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year. The new journal, called Science Advances, will give authors another outlet for papers that they are willing to pay to make immediately free to the public. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

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)
NEW 1st International Conference on Repair, Regeneration and Reconstruction
September 25-27, 2014
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Extracellular Matrix-Integrin Signaling and Trafficking of Membrane Transporters (MGH)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Mechanism of Remodeling in Heart and Vascular Diseases (University of Alberta)

Faculty Position – Cervical Biology (Wayne State University School of Medicine)

MSc Studentship – Soft Tissue Nanomechanics (Saint Mary’s University)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Mechanisms of Angiogenesis and Vasculogenesis during Development and Retinal Diseases (State University of New York)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Extracellular Matrix-Integrin Signaling and Trafficking of Membrane Transporters (Massachusetts General Hospital)

PhD Studentships – Collagen IV and Angiogenesis (University of East Anglia)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Mechanobiology, Fibroblasts and Matrix Biology (Mayo Clinic)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells and Bioengineering (Queensland University of Technology/Translational Research Institute)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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