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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - NKX2-5 Mutations and CHD, Murine Corneal Renewal, Stem Cell Fate and Chromatin, and Fat-Cancer Cell Interactions!



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!

How NKX2-5 Mutations cause Congenital Heart Defects

While studies have forged a link between congenital heart defects (CHDs) and NKX2-5 gene mutations, we still do not understand how these mutations cause disease. Now, new research out of the labs of Patrick G. Burgon and Ilona Skerjanc (University of Ottawa, Canada) employing a knock‐in mouse embryonic stem cell model of cardiomyogenesis has provided a new source of vitally important data. This includes how NKX2.5 dosage and localization regulated target genes during early stages of cardiac development and the identification of altered putative target genes caused by NKX2.5 mutations. See STEM CELLS now for all the fine print.

Bmi1+ Progenitors in the Murine Corneal Renewal

Researchers from the laboratory of Frederic Michon (University of Helsinki, Finland) recently set out to understand how stem/progenitor cells in the cornea ensure homeostasis in a mouse model. Their study demonstrates how Bmi1-positive cells represent corneal limbal progenitor cells and the authors use this information to demonstrate how these progenitors maintain homeostasis in the short-term. For more details, see STEM CELLS now.

Chromatin Alteration‐Induced Stem Cell Fate

Research from the team of Nadine Schuler (Saarland University, Germany) recently sought to highlight the mechanisms stem cells employ to endure exposure to genotoxic stresses by employing low-dose irradiation (LDR) exposure of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs). Their new study establishes that stem cells accumulate and pass on heterochromatic chromatin‐alterations, which allows short-term stem cell pool maintenance but may also impair long-term functionality and promote a premature aging phenotype. Head over to STEM CELLS now for the news on how chromatin can affect stem cell fate.

Model Interactions between Fat Grafting and Breast Cancer Cells

As there exists an oncogenic concern with autologous fat grafting after breast cancer surgery, researchers from the lab of J. Peter Rubin (University of Pittsburgh, USA) aimed to model the interaction between fat grafts and breast cancer cells. Their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article now suggests that clinical fat grafting does not induce breast cancer cell growth and may even boast a suppressive effect. Great news!

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!