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What’s The Stem Cells Buzz This Week? - Unraveling Kidney Disease with hPSC-Podocytes, Regulation of YAP1 Expression in Osteosarcoma, a New Dry AMD iPSC-Model, and BMSC Study Finds No Endometrial Contribution!

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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!

Unraveling Kidney Disease with hPSC-Podocytes

A new study from the laboratories of Benjamin S. Freedman (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) and Kelly M. McNagny (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) suggests that kidney podocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) represent a useful modeling tool. Kim et al. demonstrate that hPSC-derived podocytes phenocopy mammalian podocytes at the capillary loop stage, recapitulating key features of ultrastructure, gene expression, and mutant phenotype. See STEM CELLS now to read about how hPSC-derived podocytes could represent a powerful framework for studying human kidney disease and also regeneration.

MZF1 and GABP Regulate YAP1 expression in Osteosarcoma

Cancer stem cells in osteosarcoma express high levels of the pluripotency-associated transcription factor YAP1, a major effector of the tumor suppressive Hippo signaling pathway. Researchers from the lab of Claudio Basilico (NYU School of Medicine, New York, USA) sought to understand the regulation of YAP1 expression in osteosarcomas and discovered that MZF1 and GABP activity is essential for the transcription of YAP1, which then acts with Sox2 to maintain stemness and tumorigenicity. See STEM CELLS now for more details!

A New iPSC-derived Model of Age-related Macular Degeneration

We currently lack treatment strategies for the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that represents one of the most common forms of blindness. To aid in the quest for new treatment breakthroughs, a team of researchers led by Majlinda Lako (Newcastle University, UK) developed a disease model for AMD patients with the most common genetic risk factor for the disease, a Complement factor H (CFH) polymorphism in exon 9 (Y402H). Overall, Hallam et al. provide evidence that this new model faithfully mimics key features of AMD and, therefore, may be employed to assess new therapies and understand the pathology of disease. See STEM CELLS now for an eye-catching study!

Lack of Endometrial Contribution by Bone Marrow Stem Cells

While some studies have suggested that bone marrow stem cells could transdifferentiate into cells of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), the team of James A Deane (Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia) had lingering doubts. Now, their new STEM CELLS study reports a lack of evidence for transdifferentiation of bone marrow stem cells into endometrial cells and suggests that misidentification of immune cells led to the contrary findings in previous studies. This new finding may be of value, given the fact that many endometrial regeneration strategies include the use of bone marrow stem cells.

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!