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Zheng H.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Hutchins A.P.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Pan G.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Li Y.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Cell Research | Year: 2014

Accumulating evidence indicates that the mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are basic mechanisms for cell fate conversion and may help us understand both physiologic and pathologic processes such as development and carcinogenesis. Here, we further suggest that mammalian cells fall into two grand divisions, mesenchymal or epithelial; interconversions between these two grand divisions through EMT/MET resonate with some ancient Chinese philosophic ideas. © 2014 IBCB, SIBS, CAS All rights reserved. Source


News Article
Site: https://www.sciencenews.org/

Bully whippets may have competition in doggy body-building contests. Two beagles in China have been genetically engineered to be extra buff. The small hounds are the latest addition to a menagerie of gene-edited animals that also includes pigs and monkeys. Researchers in China decided to mutate a muscle gene in beagles to test whether a powerful gene-editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9 will work in dogs. Mutations in the gene, called myostatin, give bully whippets and Belgian Blue cattle their bulky muscles, but are not known to cause health problems. Liangxue Lai of the South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues injected the gene editor into 35 beagle embryos. Of 27 puppies born, two had edited genes, the team reports October 12 in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology. A female puppy named Tiangou has both copies of the myostatin gene mutated in all of her cells. At 4 months, Tiangou had more muscular thighs than her unedited sister. A male puppy, Hercules, who carries double mutations in most, but not all, of his cells, wasn’t more muscular than other 4-month-old puppies. Both dogs have packed on more muscle as they’ve matured, and Lai says their fur may be concealing how ripped they are. The low number of puppies born with edited myostatin genes indicate that the editor is not very efficient in dogs, but Lai says the process just needs to be optimized. Next, Lai and colleagues hope to make mutations in beagles that mimic genetic changes implicated in Parkinson’s disease and hearing loss in humans to study those diseases and potential therapies. The researchers have no plans to make designer pets, Lai says.


Esteban M.A.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Wang T.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Qin B.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Yang J.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | And 22 more authors.
Cell Stem Cell | Year: 2010

Somatic cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by defined factors. However, the low efficiency and slow kinetics of the reprogramming process have hampered progress with this technology. Here we report that a natural compound, vitamin C (Vc), enhances iPSC generation from both mouse and human somatic cells. Vc acts at least in part by alleviating cell senescence, a recently identified roadblock for reprogramming. In addition, Vc accelerates gene expression changes and promotes the transition of pre-iPSC colonies to a fully reprogrammed state. Our results therefore highlight a straightforward method for improving the speed and efficiency of iPSC generation and provide additional insights into the mechanistic basis of the reprogramming process. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Zhang S.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Chen S.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Li W.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | Guo X.,South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine | And 12 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Directed hepatocyte differentiation from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) potentially provides a unique platform for modeling liver genetic diseases and performing drug-toxicity screening in vitro. Wilson's disease is a genetic disease caused by mutations in the ATP7B gene, whose product is a liver transporter protein responsible for coordinated copper export into bile and blood. Interestingly, the spectrum of ATP7B mutations is vast and can influence clinical presentation (a variable spectrum of hepatic and neural manifestations), though the reason is not well understood. We describe the generation of iPSCs from a Chinese patient with Wilson's disease that bears the R778L Chinese hotspot mutation in the ATP7B gene. These iPSCs were pluripotent and could be readily differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells that displayed abnormal cytoplasmic localization of mutated ATP7B and defective copper transport. Moreover, gene correction using a self-inactivating lentiviral vector that expresses codon optimized-ATP7B or treatment with the chaperone drug curcumin could reverse the functional defect in vitro. Hence, our work describes an attractive model for studying the pathogenesis of Wilson's disease that is valuable for screening compounds or gene therapy approaches aimed to correct the abnormality. In the future, once relevant safety concerns (including the stability of the mature liver-like phenotype) and technical issues for the transplantation procedure are solved, hepatocyte-like cells from similarly genetically corrected iPSCs could be an option for autologous transplantation in Wilson's disease. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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