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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - ACE2 Deficiency Exacerbates Diabetic Defects, Role of Coiled‐coil Mbd3 Domain, OCT4 in Human Cancer, and 3D Organoids as Pre‐Clinical Models

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The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

ACE2 Deficiency Exacerbates Diabetic Retinopathy via Bone Marrow Dysfunction

A recent STEM CELLS study from the laboratory of Maria B Grant (University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA) sought to test if the primary enzyme of the vasoprotective axis of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) exacerbates diabetic retinopathy by promoting bone marrow stem cell dysfunction. Through experiments employing Angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) knockout mice, Duan et al. now suggest that sustained activation of RAS in bone marrow stem cells will prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy. Sounds like a fascinating study!

Crucial Role of Coiled‐coil Domain of Mbd3 in Pluripotency

While studies have revealed that methyl‐CpG‐binding domain protein 3 (Mbd3), a scaffolding component of the nucleosome remodeling deacetylase complex, regulates pluripotency, the functional similarities and dissimilarities among the three isoforms (a, b, and c) remain unexplored. Now, new research from the lab of Akihiko Okuda (Saitama Medical University, Japan) suggests that the coiled‐coil domain common to all three Mbd3 isoforms helps to maintain pluripotency via the recruitment of polycomb repressive complex 2 to a subset of genes linked to development and organogenesis, thus establishing stable transcriptional repression. Head over to STEM CELLS now for all the details.

New Study Forges Strong Links between OCT4 and Human Cancer

In an attempt to end the debate regarding OCT4 expression in human cancer, researchers from the laboratory of Mitsuko Kosaka (Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan) developed a highly specific and comprehensive detection method. Writing in STEM CELLS, Miyamoto et al. report clear evidence for cancer cell-specific expression of OCT4A, OCT4B, OCT4B1 and other novel splicing variant transcripts. Interestingly, expression correlates with correlated with the migration and invasion, strongly suggesting a significant contribution of OCT4 to the phenotype of human cancer cells.

Current Status of 3D Organoids as Pre‐Clinical Models

A new STEM CELLS article from the labs of Moorthy P. Ponnusamy and Surinder K. Batra (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA) aims to review the current status of three-dimensional (3D) organoid cultures in the study of tissue homeostasis and cancer. Kaushik et al. focus on recent technical advances, stem cell biology principles utilized to generate multiple organoids with the aim of expanding organoid applications to the study disease progression and drug response in different cancers, while also discussing shortcomings, limitations, and advantages of developed 3D cultures.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!