Weekly reads: CTCF, Sox transcription factors, Clinic fires back, more

I’m taking a short break today from working on a big grant to put out this weekly reads post including on Sox transcription factors, cord blood paper controversy, and other interesting papers such as one on CTCF and chromatin domains after mitosis that really struck me.

I can actually see blue sky today here in Northern California, which is a relief from days of air full of smoke and ash from all the California fires.

We reached another milestone on our Stem Cell Channel on YouTube with more than 200 subscribers. Please check it out.

heart stem cells
Possible routes of repair by heart stem cell transplants. Vaka and Davis, Stem Cells, 2021.

SOX transcription factors in stem cells and disease

Insights into the mechanisms underlying aberrant SOX11 oncogene expression in mantle cell lymphoma, Lymphoma. Sox11 is a transcription factor that regulates stem cells and certain aspects of development. It fits into the category of oncodevelopmental transcription factors that are an interest of mine.

SOX10 ablation severely impairs the generation of postmigratory neural crest from human pluripotent stem cells, Cell Death & Disease. Here’s an example of another related SOX family factor functioning in stem cells.

You can see a movie of the structure of Sox factors bound to DNA above.

Clinic fires back on criticism of Stem Cells Translational Medicine pub

Addressing concerns regarding associated costs, transparency, and integrity of research in recent stem cell trial, Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Here we have a stem cell clinic responding to criticism of their recent Stem Cells Translational Medicine paper, including from Jeremy Snyder and Leigh Turner.

For instance, the clinic authors claim in this new piece that they do not charge trial participants for the experimental therapy, but that the $7,000+ that families pay is for incidental expenses. Thus, they argue, their study is not “pay-for-play.” I’m curious what others think. The clinic here is The Stem Cell Institute in Panama I reviewed The Stem Cell Institute here on The Niche recently. In my fact checking I found numerous reasons for concern.

The clinic authors also note their cautious tone in discussing their trial results. Part of the challenge for a clinic in publishing a paper like the one at the heart of this discussion is that the clinic is already selling this unproven treatment. In that case, is simply declaring your COI sufficient?

Stem Cells Translational Medicine has had more than its share of controversy over the last few years, mostly related to publication of papers on cord blood studies.

Other notable papers

2 thoughts on “Weekly reads: CTCF, Sox transcription factors, Clinic fires back, more”

  1. Dear Paul,

    We obviously see your strong stance on cord blood. I was curious what your thoughts are on iPSC derived therapeutics? For example, we filed today with the FDA to use iPSC derived endothelial cells to stimulate immunity to cancer endothelial cells…is this something that you are also against?

    I enjoy reading some of your work over the years, but dont you think you are going overboard in your hatred of Neil Riordan? I mean the guy wrote a pretty scientific explanation to the critics but instead of you attacking him you ask what the public thinks?

    Anyways, hope you are well and stay safe !!


    1. @Tom,
      You are being hyperbolic about supposed “hate”. I just strongly disagree with the practices of his clinic.
      Then while you say my supposed “hatred” is overboard, you’re puzzled that I don’t attack him? That’s really odd. I regularly ask readers what they think about certain situations.

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