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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Hhex-mediated Hematopoietic Regulation, MSC-mediated Neuroprotection, YY1 and CPCs, and Treating MPS1 with Liver-Directed hAECs!

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A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Hhex-mediated Hematopoietic Regulation via Cdkn2a

Recent studies from the lab of Matthew P. McCormack (Monash University, Australia) have analyzed the requirement for the hematopoietically expressed homeobox transcription factor (Hhex) gene in hematopoiesis. Now, their new study demonstrates that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) require Hhex to repress the Cdkn2a locus, which encodes the p16Ink4a and p19Arf tumor suppressors, to self-renew and respond to hematopoietic stress. See STEM CELLS now for all the details.

How MSCs mediate Neuroprotection in Parkinsonian Models

A new study from the lab of Phil Hyu Lee (Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea) describes how mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a neuroprotective role in cell and animal models of Parkinsons Disease. Specifically, Oh et al. established that MSCs increase microtubule‐dependent axonal trafficking by inhibiting α‐synuclein‐induced tau phosphorylation and, therefore, suggest that pharmacological modulators of microtubule assembly or axonal transport may represent new therapeutic strategies. Head over to STEM CELLS now to read all the fine print.

All CPCs need is YY1!

The development of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) into cardiomyocytes requires the precise regulation of gene expression by various interacting factors. The lab of Sean M. Wu (Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA) now reveals that overexpression of the YY1 transcription factor promotes proliferation but inhibits differentiation of CPCs via the modulation of the chromatin environment of the promoter of specific genes. Which genes? Head over to STEM CELLS to find out!

Treating MPS1 with Liver-Directed hAECs

Treatment options for the lysosomal storage disorder Mucopolysaccharidosis type 1 (MPS1) currently offer improved life expectancy, but often have no benefits for skeletal and neurological phenotypes. A new therapeutic option, from the lab of Toshio Miki (University of Southern California, USA), comprises the transplantation of human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) into the liver to replace the enzyme missing in this disorder (α-l-iduronidase). Encouragingly, this treatment opportunity improved skeletal and neurological phenotypes and, therefore, may represent an exciting option for human patients. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine for all the details.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!