Volume 7.16 | Apr 28

Extracellular Matrix News 7.16 April 28, 2016
Extracellular Matrix News
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Researchers One Step Closer to Understanding Regeneration in Mammals
Researchers suggest that genetic factors underlie variation in regenerative ability. Importantly, cellular and molecular analysis demonstrated that spiny mice regenerate ear tissue by forming a blastema. [Press release from the University of Kentucky discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications]
Press Release | Full Article
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Hyaluronan Hydrogels for a Biomimetic Spongiosa Layer of Tissue Engineered Heart Valve Scaffolds
Hyaluronan hydrogels were tuned to perform the mechanical functions of the spongiosa layer, provide a biomimetic scaffold in which valve cells were encapsulated in 3D for tissue engineering applications, and to gain insight into how valve cells maintain hyaluronan homeostasis within heart valves. [Biomacromolecules] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Self-Assembled Biodegradable Nanoparticles and Polysaccharides as Biomimetic ECM Nanostructures for the Synergistic Effect of RGD and BMP-2 on Bone Formation
Biomimetic extracellular matrix (ECM) nanostructures are constructed through layer-by-layer self-assembling positively charged chitosan (Chi), negatively charged oxidized sodium alginate (OAlg), and positively charged bovine serum albumin-based nanoparticles. The results of bone marrow stem cells culture demonstrated that the penta-peptide glycine-arginine-glycine-aspartate-serine grafted Chi/OAlg films favor cell adhesion and proliferation. [Sci Rep] Full Article

LIMK Regulates Tumor-Cell Invasion and Matrix Degradation through Tyrosine Phosphorylation of MT1-MMP
Investigators identified membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) as a novel interacting partner of dual-specificity LIM Kinase-1 and -2 (LIMK1/2), and provide evidence for phosphorylation of tyrosine Y573 in the cytoplasmic domain of MT1-MMP by LIMK. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Regulators of Metastasis Modulate the Migratory Response to Cell Contact under Spatial Confinement
Scientists showed that metastatic cells overcome spatial constraints to slide effectively on narrow fiber-like dimensions, whereas nontransformed MCF–10A mammary epithelial cells require much wider micropatterns to achieve moderate levels of sliding. Downregulating the cell-cell adhesion protein, E-cadherin, enables MCF-10A cells to slide on narrower micropatterns; meanwhile, introducing exogenous E-cadherin in metastatic MDA-MB–231 cells increases the micropattern dimension at which they slide. [Biophys J]
Full Article | Press Release | Video

ILK–PI3K/AKT Pathway Participates in Cutaneous Wound Contraction by Regulating Fibroblast Migration and Differentiation to Myofibroblast
The authors investigated the role of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in cutaneous wound contraction. They found that ILK was involved in cutaneous wound healing in rats, and ILK and PI3K/AKT inhibitors inhibited wound contraction and re-epithelialization, consequently delaying wound healing in vivo. [Lab Invest] Abstract

Stiffness-Controlled Three-Dimensional Collagen Scaffolds for Differentiation of Human Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Cardiac Progenitor Cells
Investigators developed stiffness-controlled collagen scaffolds to allow proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cell into cardiac progenitor cells. [J Biomed Mater Res A] Abstract

RNA Interference-Mediated Silencing of Speckle-Type POZ Protein Promotes Apoptosis of Renal Cell Cancer Cells
Scientists investigated the effects of silencing the speckle-type POZ protein gene on renal cell cancer cells and to explore its possible mechanism. The relevant signaling pathways were the integrin-mediated cell surface interactions pathway and extracellular matrix organization signal pathway. [Onco Targets Ther] Full Article

High Glucose-Induced Matrilin-2 Expression in Mouse Mesangial Cells Was Mediated by Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 (TGF-β1)
Researchers evaluated the effect of high glucose on the expression of extracellular matrix protein matrilin-2 and the mechanism underlying this effect by using a mouse mesangial cell line. They demonstrated that matrilin-2 expression was markedly induced by high glucose and TGF-β1. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

Ex Vivo Expansion of Circulating CD34+ Cells Enhances the Regenerative Effect on Rat Liver Cirrhosis
The authors investigated the efficacy of human ex vivo-expanded CD34+ cells for treatment of cirrhotic rat liver. Expanded CD34+ cells were also increasingly positive for cell surface markers of VE-cadherin, VEGF receptor-2, and Tie-2. The expression of proangiogenic growth factors and adhesion molecules in expanded CD34+ cells increased compared with nonexpanded CD34+ cells. [Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev] Full Article

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TGF-β: The Master Regulator of Fibrosis
Although direct targeting of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is unlikely to yield a viable antifibrotic therapy due to the involvement of TGF-β1 in other processes, greater understanding of the various pathways by which TGF-β1 controls fibrosis has identified alternative targets for the development of novel therapeutics to halt this most damaging process in chronic kidney disease. [Nat Rev Nephrol] Abstract

Physical Properties Imparted by Genipin to Chitosan for Tissue Regeneration with Human Stem Cells
The chitosan | genipin physical properties such as morphology, roughness, porosity, hydrophilicity, ζ-potential, surface area and surface energy exert control over cell adhesion, migration, phenotype maintenance and intracellular signaling in vitro, and cell recruitment at the tissue-scaffold interface in vivo. [Int J Biol Macromol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
Regenerating Blood Vessels Gets $2.7 Million Grant
Biomedical engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have received a three-year, $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to advance a promising treatment that could help millions of people with diabetes affected by peripheral ischemia, a condition that restricts blood flow to muscles in the lower limbs. [The University of Texas at Austin] Press Release

Research in Liver Cancer, Tissue Regeneration at Children’s Research Institute at UTSW Garners Stand Up to Cancer Grant
Dr. Hao Zhu, Assistant Professor of Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, is one of ten researchers in the nation to receive a Stand Up to Cancer grant to further his studies of a gene whose absence protects mice against liver cancer and promotes liver tissue regeneration in mammals. [The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center] Press Release

Regenerating Brain Tissue Brings Hope for a New Treatment against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Mexican researchers developed a nanogel that enables the growth of new neurons. Working with animal models, Mexican researchers were able to cross the electroencephalic barrier, introduce a nanogel and achieve the growth of neurons within the gel, which shows that it is possible to promote regeneration of brain tissue. [Investigación y Desarrollo (AlphaGalileo)] Press Release

SpinalCyte, LLC Receives New Canadian Patent for Spinal Disc Tissue Engineering
SpinalCyte, LLC announced the issuance of Canadian Patent No. 2641170, “Methods and Compositions for Repair of Cartilage Using an In Vivo Bioreactor.” The technology described in the patent involves incorporating a matrix constructed of a synthetic polymer, a natural hydrogel, or a synthetic hydrogel to expose the fibroblasts to a mechanical strain using intermittent hydrostatic pressure and/or fluid shear stress. [SpinalCyte, LLC] Press Release

RXi Pharmaceuticals Fortifies Its Novel RNAi Patent Portfolio with Notice of Allowance for Lead Clinical Candidate RXI-109
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for both the composition of matter and methods of use for its self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) compounds targeting connective tissue growth factor. [RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation] Press Release

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Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation
October 14-16, 2016
Atlanta, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Motor Plasticity and Repair (Burke Medical Research Institute)

PhD Positions – Modern Biology (Vienna Biocenter)

Postdoctoral Position – Cancer Biology/Immunology (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Group Leader Positions – Stem Cell Biology, Pancreatic Cancer and Bioengineering (University of Copenhagen)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Hematopoietic and Leukemic Stem Cells (The Francis Crick Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cervical Extracellular Matrix (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)

Engineering Project Lead (Cytonome)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Mechanoregulation of Fibrosis and Vascular Injury (St. Michael’s Hospital)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering (Northwestern University)

Postdoctoral Position – Non-Viral Gene Delivery & Scaffold Design (Nanyang Technological University)

Professor – Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

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