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Bertin E.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Piccoli M.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Franzin C.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Nagy A.,Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2015

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are generated from mouse and human somatic cells by forced expression of defined transcription factors using different methods. Amniotic fluid (AF) cells are easy to obtain from routinely scheduled procedures for prenatal diagnosis and iPS cells have been generated from human AF. Here, we generated iPS cells from mouse AF cells, using a non-viral-based approach constituted by the PiggyBac (PB) transposon system. All iPS cell lines obtained exhibited characteristics of pluripotent cells, including the ability to differentiate toward derivatives of all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Piccoli M.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Urbani L.,University College London | Alvarez-Fallas M.E.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Franzin C.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | And 9 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2016

Muscle tissue engineering can provide support to large congenital skeletal muscle defects using scaffolds able to allow cell migration, proliferation and differentiation. Acellular extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold can generate a positive inflammatory response through the activation of anti-inflammatory T-cell populations and M2 polarized macrophages that together lead to a local pro-regenerative environment. This immunoregulatory effect is maintained when acellular matrices are transplanted in a xenogeneic setting, but it remains unclear whether it can be therapeutic in a model of muscle diseases. We demonstrated here for the first time that orthotopic transplantation of a decellularized diaphragmatic muscle from wild animals promoted tissue functional recovery in an established atrophic mouse model. In particular, ECM supported a local immunoresponse activating a pro-regenerative environment and stimulating host muscle progenitor cell activation and migration. These results indicate that acellular scaffolds may represent a suitable regenerative medicine option for improving performance of diseased muscles. © 2015 The Authors.

Herman J.G.,The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Johns Hopkins | Brock M.V.,The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Johns Hopkins | Licchesi J.D.,The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Johns Hopkins | Yue W.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory | Pei X.,Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory
Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society | Year: 2013

DACT2 (Dapper, Dishevelled-associated antagonist of β-catenin homolog 2) is a member of the DACT family involved in the regulation of embryonic development. Human DACT2 is localized on 6q27, a region of frequent loss of heterozygosity in human cancers. However, the regulation of DACT2 expression and function in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. In this study, genetic and epigenetic changes of DACT2 were analyzed in HCC cell lines and primary cancer. We found no single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associated with HCC. Promoter region methylation was correlated with loss or reduction of DACT2 expression, and restoration of DACT2 expression was induced by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) in HCC cell lines. Promoter region methylation was found in 54.84% of primary HCC. Reduction of DACT2 expression was associated with promoter hypermethylation, and expression of DACT2 was inversely related to β-catenin expression in primary HCC. DACT2 suppressed cell proliferation, induced G 2-M arrest in cell lines and inhibited tumor growth in xenograft nude mice. The transcriptional activity of TCF-4 and the expression of Wnt signaling downstream genes were suppressed by DACT2 re-expression and reactivated by depletion of DACT2. In conclusion, DACT2 is frequently methylated in HCC and its expression is regulated by promoter hypermethylation. DACT2 suppresses HCC by inhibiting Wnt signaling in human HCC.

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