Weekly reads: heterochromatin, H3.3, Mesoblast bump

My lab is focused in part on chromatin states in stem cells and cancer including heterochromatin. In fact, my lab’s website is chromatin.com. Heterochromatin is dense, often inactive chromatin. By H&E staining and electron microscopy, heterochromatin looks dark compared to the rest of the nucleus, largely composed of euchromatin.

Toward the end of my postdoc at The Hutch I found that loss of myc in neural stem cells leads to more heterochromatin. See the image below.

N-myc, heterochromatin
Loss of N-myc in neural stem cells leads to more heterochromatin. Embo J. 2006.

We also study the histone variant H3.3 so a new preprint on both H3.3 and chromatin is right up our alley. Let’s start with that.

Chromatin and heterochromatin

Other reads

1 thought on “Weekly reads: heterochromatin, H3.3, Mesoblast bump”

  1. Hey Paul,

    So correct me if I’m wrong but from what I understand umbilical cord blood is largely comprised of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). From understand there are only a few mesenchymal stem cells in umbilical cord blood. Mesenchymal stem cells are typically harvested from umbilical cord tissue, not umbilical cord blood.

    And this study used umbilical cord blood, so this study did not use umbilical cord “tissue derived” mesenchymal stem cells.

    Little tid bit from the study

    It is also possible that other cellular products derived from cord blood, cord tissue, or placenta, could improve functional outcomes after stroke. These include ex vivo expanded cord blood monocytes, DUOC—an expanded cord blood macrophage capable of inducing remyelination in early phase clinical trials, and cord tissue derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) given intrathecally or intravenously. While these products are in development, none have been systematically studied in ischemic stroke. Banked cord blood, although, has the advantage of rapid availability in the acute stroke setting. Perhaps combination cellular therapy will ultimately be the best approach.

    So yeah this study used “umbilical cord blood” which is just blood from the umbilical cord, which is different from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells.

    Oh and check it out I have some exciting news to share. So Joanne Kurtzberg, who above ran the study on stroke using umbilical cord blood, she also conducted this placebo controlled phase 2 trial for autism in children using umbilical cord “tissue derived” mesenchymal stem cells. There were 137 participants so it was a pretty large trial. And if you follow this here link it shows that it’s been “completed” So I guess it’s done and they have yet to publish the results. I can’t wait to see the results, I’ve had my eye on this trial for a couple of years now. I’m hoping the results are world changing. I got my fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply