August 7, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Recommended reads: autism, cancer, & nucleosomes

A few times a month I do a recommended reads kind of post on more than just stem cells, which people seem to appreciate as a condensed list of new science and medicine.

Cederquist graphical abstract Cell Stem Cell 2020, stem cells
Cederquist graphical abstract of using a stem cell model for autism genetics. Cell Stem Cell July 2020.

Scientists might ask each other, “what’s in your to-read list?” rather than “what’s in your wallet?” Here are some of the things I’m hoping to get to in coming days or have already taken a look at that seem worth a read. If you want to see last week’s reads here they are including organoids for COVID-19 modeling.

Glioma stem cell markers

From Scientific Reports: Quiescent stem cell marker genes in glioma gene networks are sufficient to distinguish between normal and glioblastoma (GBM) samples. The role of quiescence in cancer stem cells is very interesting. At some point quiescent CSCs must be activated to drive tumor expansion, but the quiescent state may be protective in terms of therapeutic resistance.

Erase the eraser in cancer stem cells?

An interesting paper from Cell Stem Cell on leukemic stem-like cells: Rubbing Out Leukemia Stem Cells by Erasing the Eraser. They provide insights into the function of m6A demethylase ALKBH5 in myeloid leukemia cells. Is next the eraser erases the eraser’s eraser?

Stem cell models for autism genetics

From Cell Stem Cell: A Multiplex Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Platform Defines Molecular and Functional Subclasses of Autism-Related Genes.

How much of a role do genetics play in certain types of autism? Could the variants be revealed using stem cell models? See graphical abstract above.

Unexpected H3-H4 tetramer function in copper metabolism

A very cool Science paper on a new function for H3-H4 tetramers as a copper reductase enzyme. I didn’t see that coming. An overview of this pub in Science lists some other nucleosome-related functions including storing zinc and detoxifying mercury.

Stem cells & their culture-related mutations

Growing stem cell cultures leads to mutations, but how does this work? The mutational impact of culturing human pluripotent and adult stem cells, from Nature Communications. And, yes, adult cells do acquire mutations including potentially oncogenic ones too.

And a blast from the past

My lab’s paper in 2013 reporting similarities between early methods of reprogramming to make mouse IPS cells and the process of oncogenic transformation of MEFs to make sarcoma-like oncogenic foci colonies in culture: Induced Pluripotency and Oncogenic Transformation Are Related Processes.

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