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Journal Articles


  • Global Epigenomic Reconfiguration During Mammalian Brain Development SCIENCE Lister, R., Mukamel, E. A., Nery, J. R., Urich, M., Puddifoot, C. A., Johnson, N. D., Lucero, J., Huang, Y., Dwork, A. J., Schultz, M. D., Yu, M., Tonti-Filippini, J., Heyn, H., Hu, S., Wu, J. C., Rao, A., Esteller, M., He, C., Haghighi, F. G., Sejnowski, T. J., Behrens, M. M., Ecker, J. R. 2013; 341 (6146): 629-?
  • MicroRNA-302 Increases Reprogramming Efficiency via Repression of NR2F2 STEM CELLS Hu, S., Wilson, K. D., Ghosh, Z., Han, L., Wang, Y., Lan, F., Ransohoff, K. J., Burridge, P., Wu, J. C. 2013; 31 (2): 259-268

    Abstract

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression through translational inhibition and RNA decay and have been implicated in the regulation of cellular differentiation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed global miRNA and mRNA microarrays to predict novel miRNA-mRNA interactions in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In particular, we demonstrate a regulatory feedback loop between the miR-302 cluster and two transcription factors, NR2F2 and OCT4. Our data show high expression of miR-302 and OCT4 in pluripotent cells, while NR2F2 is expressed exclusively in differentiated cells. Target analysis predicts that NR2F2 is a direct target of miR-302, which we experimentally confirm by reporter luciferase assays and real-time polymerase chain reaction. We also demonstrate that NR2F2 directly inhibits the activity of the OCT4 promoter and thus diminishes the positive feedback loop between OCT4 and miR-302. Importantly, higher reprogramming efficiencies were obtained when we reprogrammed human adipose-derived stem cells into iPSCs using four factors (KLF4, C-MYC, OCT4, and SOX2) plus miR-302 (this reprogramming cocktail is hereafter referred to as "KMOS3") when compared to using four factors ("KMOS"). Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of NR2F2 mimics the over-expression of miR-302 by also enhancing reprogramming efficiency. Interestingly, we were unable to generate iPSCs from miR-302a/b/c/d alone, which is in contrast to previous publications that have reported that miR-302 by itself can reprogram human skin cancer cells and human hair follicle cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-302 inhibits NR2F2 and promotes pluripotency through indirect positive regulation of OCT4. This feedback loop represents an important new mechanism for understanding and inducing pluripotency in somatic cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1278

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314873000006

    View details for PubMedID 23136034

  • Functional Characterization and Expression Profiling of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell- and Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT Li, Z., Hu, S., Ghosh, Z., Han, Z., Wu, J. C. 2011; 20 (10): 1701-1710

    Abstract

    With regard to human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), in which adult cells are reprogrammed into embryonic-like cells using defined factors, their functional and transcriptional expression pattern during endothelial differentiation has yet to be characterized. In this study, hiPSCs and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were differentiated using the embryoid body method, and CD31(+) cells were sorted. Fluorescence activated cell sorting analysis of hiPSC-derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) and hESC-derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) demonstrated similar endothelial gene expression patterns. We showed functional vascular formation by hiPSC-ECs in a mouse Matrigel plug model. We compared the gene profiles of hiPSCs, hESCs, hiPSC-ECs, hESC-ECs, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) using whole genome microarray. Our analysis demonstrates that gene expression variation of hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs contributes significantly to biological differences between hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs as well as to the "distances" among hiPSCs, hESCs, hiPSC-ECs, hESC-ECs, and HUVECs. We further conclude that hiPSCs can differentiate into functional endothelial cells, but with limited expansion potential compared with hESC-ECs; thus, extensive studies should be performed to explore the cause and extent of such differences before clinical application of hiPSC-ECs can begin.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2010.0426

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295324900006

    View details for PubMedID 21235328

  • Dissecting the Oncogenic and Tumorigenic Potential of Differentiated Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Human Embryonic Stem Cells CANCER RESEARCH Ghosh, Z., Huang, M., Hu, S., Wilson, K. D., Dey, D., Wu, J. C. 2011; 71 (14): 5030-5039

    Abstract

    Pluripotent stem cells, both human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), can give rise to multiple cell types and hence have tremendous potential for regenerative therapies. However, the tumorigenic potential of these cells remains a great concern, as reflected in the formation of teratomas by transplanted pluripotent cells. In clinical practice, most pluripotent cells will be differentiated into useful therapeutic cell types such as neuronal, cardiac, or endothelial cells prior to human transplantation, drastically reducing their tumorigenic potential. Our work investigated the extent to which these differentiated stem cell derivatives are truly devoid of oncogenic potential. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression patterns from three sets of hiPSC- and hESC-derivatives and the corresponding primary cells, and compared their transcriptomes with those of five different types of cancer. Our analysis revealed a significant gene expression overlap of the hiPSC- and hESC-derivatives with cancer, whereas the corresponding primary cells showed minimum overlap. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis of a set of cancer-related genes (selected on the basis of rigorous functional and pathway analyses) confirmed our results. Overall, our findings suggested that pluripotent stem cell derivatives may still bear oncogenic properties even after differentiation, and additional stringent functional assays to purify these cells should be done before they can be used for regenerative therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4402

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292763700029

    View details for PubMedID 21646469

  • Novel MicroRNA Prosurvival Cocktail for Improving Engraftment and Function of Cardiac Progenitor Cell Transplantation CIRCULATION Hu, S., Huang, M., Nguyen, P. K., GONG, Y., LI, Z., Jia, F., Lan, F., Liu, J., Nag, D., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2011; 124 (11): S27-34
  • MicroRNA-210 as a novel therapy for treatment of ischemic heart disease CIRCULATION Hu, S., Huang, M., Li, Z., Jia, F., Ghosh, Z., Lijkwan, M. A., Fasanaro, P., Sun, N., Wang, X., Martelli, F., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2010; 122 (11): S124-31
  • MicroRNA expression and regulation in mouse uterus during embryo implantation JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Hu, S., Ren, G., Liu, J., Zhao, Z., Yu, Y., Su, R., Ma, X., Ni, H., Lei, W., Yang, Z. 2008; 283 (34): 23473-23484

    Abstract

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 21-24-nucleotide non-coding RNAs found in diverse organisms. Although hundreds of miRNAs have been cloned or predicted, only very few miRNAs have been functionally characterized. Embryo implantation is a crucial step in mammalian reproduction. Many genes have been shown to be significantly changed in mouse uterus during embryo implantation. However, miRNA expression profiles in the mouse uterus between implantation sites and inter-implantation sites are still unknown. In this study, miRNA microarray was used to examine differential expression of miRNAs in the mouse uterus between implantation sites and inter-implantation sites. Compared with inter-implantation sites, there were 8 up-regulated miR-NAs at implantation sites, which were confirmed by both Northern blot and in situ hybridization. miR-21 was highly expressed in the subluminal stromal cells at implantation sites on day 5 of pregnancy. Because miR-21 was not detected in mouse uterus during pseudopregnancy and under delayed implantation, miR-21 expression at implantation sites was regulated by active blastocysts. Furthermore, we showed that Reck was the target gene of miR-21. Our data suggest that miR-21 may play a key role during embryo implantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M800406200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258455400056

    View details for PubMedID 18556655

  • Costimulation-Adhesion Blockade is Superior to Cyclosporine A and Prednisone Immunosuppressive Therapy for Preventing Rejection of Differentiated Human Embryonic Stem Cells Following Transplantation. Stem cells Huber, B. C., Ransohoff, J. D., Ransohoff, K. J., Riegler, J., Ebert, A., Kodo, K., Gong, Y., Sanchez-Freire, V., Dey, D., Kooreman, N. G., Diecke, S., Zhang, W. Y., Odegaard, J., Hu, S., Gold, J. D., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2013; 31 (11): 2354-2363

    Abstract

    Rationale: Human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivatives are attractive candidates for therapeutic use. The engraftment and survival of hESC derivatives as xenografts or allografts require effective immunosuppression to prevent immune cell infiltration and graft destruction. Objective: To test the hypothesis that a short-course, dual-agent regimen of two costimulation-adhesion blockade agents can induce better engraftment of hESC derivatives compared to current immunosuppressive agents. Methods and Results: We transduced hESCs with a double fusion reporter gene construct expressing firefly luciferase (Fluc) and enhanced green fluorescent protein, and differentiated these cells to endothelial cells (hESC-ECs). Reporter gene expression enabled longitudinal assessment of cell engraftment by bioluminescence imaging. Costimulation-adhesion therapy resulted in superior hESC-EC and mouse EC engraftment compared to cyclosporine therapy in a hind limb model. Costimulation-adhesion therapy also promoted robust hESC-EC and hESC-derived cardiomyocyte survival in an ischemic myocardial injury model. Improved hESC-EC engraftment had a cardioprotective effect after myocardial injury, as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Mechanistically, costimulation-adhesion therapy is associated with systemic and intragraft upregulation of T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM3) and a reduced proinflammatory cytokine profile. Conclusions: Costimulation-adhesion therapy is a superior alternative to current clinical immunosuppressive strategies for preventing the post-transplant rejection of hESC derivatives. By extending the window for cellular engraftment, costimulation-adhesion therapy enhances functional preservation following ischemic injury. This regimen may function through a TIM3-dependent mechanism. Stem Cells 2013;31:2354-2363.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1501

    View details for PubMedID 24038578

  • Abnormal Calcium Handling Properties Underlie Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Pathology in Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells CELL STEM CELL Lan, F., Lee, A. S., Liang, P., Sanchez-Freire, V., Nguyen, P. K., Wang, L., Han, L., Yen, M., Wang, Y., Sun, N., Abilez, O. J., Hu, S., Ebert, A. D., Navarrete, E. G., Simmons, C. S., Wheeler, M., Pruitt, B., Lewis, R., Yamaguchi, Y., Ashley, E. A., Bers, D. M., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2013; 12 (1): 101-113

    Abstract

    Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) isa prevalent hereditary cardiac disorder linked to arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. While the causes of HCM have been identified as genetic mutations in the cardiac sarcomere, the pathways by which sarcomeric mutations engender myocyte hypertrophy and electrophysiological abnormalities are not understood. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development, we generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) from a ten-member family cohort carrying a hereditary HCM missense mutation (Arg663His) in the MYH7 gene. Diseased iPSC-CMs recapitulated numerous aspects of the HCM phenotype including cellular enlargement and contractile arrhythmia at the single-cell level. Calcium (Ca(2+)) imaging indicated dysregulation of Ca(2+) cycling and elevation in intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) are central mechanisms for disease pathogenesis. Pharmacological restoration of Ca(2+) homeostasis prevented development of hypertrophy and electrophysiological irregularities. We anticipate that these findings will help elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development and identify novel therapies for the disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2012.10.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000313839500014

    View details for PubMedID 23290139

  • Imaging Neural Stem Cell Graft-Induced Structural Repair in Stroke CELL TRANSPLANTATION Daadi, M. M., Hu, S., Klausner, J., Li, Z., Sofilos, M., Sun, G., Wu, J. C., Steinberg, G. K. 2013; 22 (5): 881-892
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells as Cellular Delivery Vehicles for Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer CELL TRANSPLANTATION Su, W., Wang, L., Zhou, M., Liu, Z., Hu, S., Tong, L., Liu, Y., Fan, Y., Kong, D., Zheng, Y., Han, Z., Wu, J. C., Xiang, R., Li, Z. 2013; 22 (11): 2079-2090

    Abstract

    Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have shown tropism towards primary tumors or metastases and are thus potential vehicles for targeting tumor therapy. However, the source of adult EPCs is limited, which highlights the need for a consistent and renewable source of endothelial cells for clinical applications. Here, we investigated the potential of human embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) as cellular delivery vehicles for therapy of metastatic breast cancer. In order to provide an initial assessment of the therapeutic potency of hESC-ECs, we treated human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells with hESC-EC conditioned medium (EC-CM) in vitro. The results showed that hESC-ECs could suppress the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway and thereby inhibit the proliferation and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. To track and evaluate the possibility of hESC-EC-employed therapy, we employed the bioluminescence imaging (BLI) technology. To study the therapeutic potential of hESC-ECs, we established lung metastasis models by intravenous injection of MDA-MB-231 cells labeled with firefly luciferase (Fluc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) to NOD/SCID mice. In mice with lung metastases, we injected hESC-ECs armed with herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk) intravenously on days 11, 16, 21, and 26 after MDA-MB-231 cell injection. The NOD/SCID mice were subsequently treated with ganciclovir (GCV), and the growth status of tumor was monitored by Fluc imaging. We found that MDA-MB-231 tumors were significantly inhibited by intravenously injected hESC-ECs. The tumor-suppressive effects of the hESC-ECs, by inhibiting Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway and inducing tumor cell death through bystander effect in human metastatic breast cancer model, provide previously unexplored therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.3727/096368912X657927

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327109200010

    View details for PubMedID 23067802

  • In vivo directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells for skeletal regeneration PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Levi, B., Hyun, J. S., Montoro, D. T., Lo, D. D., Chan, C. K., Hu, S., Sun, N., Lee, M., Grova, M., Connolly, A. J., Wu, J. C., Gurtner, G. C., Weissman, I. L., Wan, D. C., Longaker, M. T. 2012; 109 (50): 20379-20384

    Abstract

    Pluripotent cells represent a powerful tool for tissue regeneration, but their clinical utility is limited by their propensity to form teratomas. Little is known about their interaction with the surrounding niche following implantation and how this may be applied to promote survival and functional engraftment. In this study, we evaluated the ability of an osteogenic microniche consisting of a hydroxyapatite-coated, bone morphogenetic protein-2-releasing poly-L-lactic acid scaffold placed within the context of a macroenvironmental skeletal defect to guide in vivo differentiation of both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. In this setting, we found de novo bone formation and participation by implanted cells in skeletal regeneration without the formation of a teratoma. This finding suggests that local cues from both the implanted scaffold/cell micro- and surrounding macroniche may act in concert to promote cellular survival and the in vivo acquisition of a terminal cell fate, thereby allowing for functional engraftment of pluripotent cells into regenerating tissue.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1218052109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312605600055

    View details for PubMedID 23169671

  • Genome Editing of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells With Zinc Finger Nucleases for Cellular Imaging CIRCULATION RESEARCH Wang, Y., Zhang, W. Y., Hu, S., Lan, F., Lee, A. S., Huber, B., Lisowski, L., Liang, P., Huang, M., de Almeida, P. E., Won, J. H., Sun, N., Robbins, R. C., Kay, M. A., Urnov, F. D., Wu, J. C. 2012; 111 (12): 1494-?

    Abstract

    Molecular imaging has proven to be a vital tool in the characterization of stem cell behavior in vivo. However, the integration of reporter genes has typically relied on random integration, a method that is associated with unwanted insertional mutagenesis and positional effects on transgene expression.To address this barrier, we used genome editing with zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology to integrate reporter genes into a safe harbor gene locus (PPP1R12C, also known as AAVS1) in the genome of human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells for molecular imaging.We used ZFN technology to integrate a construct containing monomeric red fluorescent protein, firefly luciferase, and herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase reporter genes driven by a constitutive ubiquitin promoter into a safe harbor locus for fluorescence imaging, bioluminescence imaging, and positron emission tomography imaging, respectively. High efficiency of ZFN-mediated targeted integration was achieved in both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. ZFN-edited cells maintained both pluripotency and long-term reporter gene expression. Functionally, we successfully tracked the survival of ZFN-edited human embryonic stem cells and their differentiated cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells in murine models, demonstrating the use of ZFN-edited cells for preclinical studies in regenerative medicine.Our study demonstrates a novel application of ZFN technology to the targeted genetic engineering of human pluripotent stem cells and their progeny for molecular imaging in vitro and in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.274969

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311994700042

    View details for PubMedID 22967807

  • Microfluidic Single-Cell Analysis Shows That Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Improve Myocardial Function by Paracrine Activation CIRCULATION RESEARCH Gu, M., Nguyen, P. K., Lee, A. S., Xu, D., Hu, S., Plews, J. R., Han, L., Huber, B. C., Lee, W. H., Gong, Y., de Almeida, P. E., Lyons, J., Ikeno, F., Pacharinsak, C., Connolly, A. J., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2012; 111 (7): 882-893

    Abstract

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for the development of patient-specific therapies for cardiovascular disease. However, clinical translation will require preclinical optimization and validation of large-animal iPSC models.To successfully derive endothelial cells from porcine iPSCs and demonstrate their potential utility for the treatment of myocardial ischemia.Porcine adipose stromal cells were reprogrammed to generate porcine iPSCs (piPSCs). Immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR, microarray hybridization, and angiogenic assays confirmed that piPSC-derived endothelial cells (piPSC-ECs) shared similar morphological and functional properties as endothelial cells isolated from the autologous pig aorta. To demonstrate their therapeutic potential, piPSC-ECs were transplanted into mice with myocardial infarction. Compared with control, animals transplanted with piPSC-ECs showed significant functional improvement measured by echocardiography (fractional shortening at week 4: 27.21.3% versus 22.31.1%; P<0.001) and MRI (ejection fraction at week 4: 45.81.3% versus 42.30.9%; P<0.05). Quantitative protein assays and microfluidic single-cell PCR profiling showed that piPSC-ECs released proangiogenic and antiapoptotic factors in the ischemic microenvironment, which promoted neovascularization and cardiomyocyte survival, respectively. Release of paracrine factors varied significantly among subpopulations of transplanted cells, suggesting that transplantation of specific cell populations may result in greater functional recovery.In summary, this is the first study to successfully differentiate piPSCs-ECs from piPSCs and demonstrate that transplantation of piPSC-ECs improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction via paracrine activation. Further development of these large animal iPSC models will yield significant insights into their therapeutic potential and accelerate the clinical translation of autologous iPSC-based therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.269001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308868800015

    View details for PubMedID 22821929

  • Safe Genetic Modification of Cardiac Stem Cells Using a Site-Specific Integration Technique CIRCULATION Lan, F., Liu, J., Narsinh, K. H., Hu, S., Han, L., Lee, A. S., Karow, M., Nguyen, P. K., Nag, D., Calos, M. P., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2012; 126 (11): S20-?

    Abstract

    Human cardiac progenitor cells (hCPCs) are a promising cell source for regenerative repair after myocardial infarction. Exploitation of their full therapeutic potential may require stable genetic modification of the cells ex vivo. Safe genetic engineering of stem cells, using facile methods for site-specific integration of transgenes into known genomic contexts, would significantly enhance the overall safety and efficacy of cellular therapy in a variety of clinical contexts.We used the phiC31 site-specific recombinase to achieve targeted integration of a triple fusion reporter gene into a known chromosomal context in hCPCs and human endothelial cells. Stable expression of the reporter gene from its unique chromosomal integration site resulted in no discernible genomic instability or adverse changes in cell phenotype. Namely, phiC31-modified hCPCs were unchanged in their differentiation propensity, cellular proliferative rate, and global gene expression profile when compared with unaltered control hCPCs. Expression of the triple fusion reporter gene enabled multimodal assessment of cell fate in vitro and in vivo using fluorescence microscopy, bioluminescence imaging, and positron emission tomography. Intramyocardial transplantation of genetically modified hCPCs resulted in significant improvement in myocardial function 2 weeks after cell delivery, as assessed by echocardiography (P=0.002) and MRI (P=0.001). We also demonstrated the feasibility and therapeutic efficacy of genetically modifying differentiated human endothelial cells, which enhanced hind limb perfusion (P<0.05 at day 7 and 14 after transplantation) on laser Doppler imaging.The phiC31 integrase genomic modification system is a safe, efficient tool to enable site-specific integration of reporter transgenes in progenitor and differentiated cell types.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.084913

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314150200003

    View details for PubMedID 22965984

  • Early Stem Cell Engraftment Predicts Late Cardiac Functional Recovery Preclinical Insights From Molecular Imaging CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING Liu, J., Narsinh, K. H., Lan, F., Wang, L., Nguyen, P. K., Hu, S., Lee, A., Han, L., Gong, Y., Huang, M., Nag, D., Rosenberg, J., Chouldechova, A., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2012; 5 (4): 481-490

    Abstract

    Human cardiac progenitor cells have demonstrated great potential for myocardial repair in small and large animals, but robust methods for longitudinal assessment of their engraftment in humans is not yet readily available. In this study, we sought to optimize and evaluate the use of positron emission tomography (PET) reporter gene imaging for monitoring human cardiac progenitor cell (hCPC) transplantation in a mouse model of myocardial infarction.hCPCs were isolated and expanded from human myocardial samples and stably transduced with herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (TK) PET reporter gene. Thymidine kinase-expressing hCPCs were characterized in vitro and transplanted into murine myocardial infarction models (n=57). Cardiac echocardiographic, magnetic resonance imaging and pressure-volume loop analyses revealed improvement in left ventricular contractile function 2 weeks after transplant (hCPC versus phosphate-buffered saline, P<0.03). Noninvasive PET imaging was used to track hCPC fate over a 4-week time period, demonstrating a substantial decline in surviving cells. Importantly, early cell engraftment as assessed by PET was found to predict subsequent functional improvement, implying a "dose-effect" relationship. We isolated the transplanted cells from recipient myocardium by laser capture microdissection for in vivo transcriptome analysis. Our results provide direct evidence that hCPCs augment cardiac function after their transplantation into ischemic myocardium through paracrine secretion of growth factors.PET reporter gene imaging can provide important diagnostic and prognostic information regarding the ultimate success of hCPC treatment for myocardial infarction.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.111.969329

    View details for Web of Science ID 000313573500014

    View details for PubMedID 22565608

  • Dynamic microRNA expression during the transition from right ventricular hypertrophy to failure PHYSIOLOGICAL GENOMICS Reddy, S., Zhao, M., Hu, D., Fajardo, G., Hu, S., Ghosh, Z., Rajagopalan, V., Wu, J. C., Bernstein, D. 2012; 44 (10): 562-575

    Abstract

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are small, noncoding RNAs that are emerging as crucial regulators of cardiac remodeling in left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and failure (LVF). However, there are no data on their role in right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) and failure (RVF). This is a critical question given that the RV is uniquely at risk in patients with congenital right-sided obstructive lesions and in those with systemic RVs. We have developed a murine model of RVH and RVF using pulmonary artery constriction (PAC). miR microarray analysis of RV from PAC vs. control demonstrates altered miR expression with gene targets associated with cardiomyocyte survival and growth during hypertrophy (miR 199a-3p) and reactivation of the fetal gene program during heart failure (miR-208b). The transition from hypertrophy to heart failure is characterized by apoptosis and fibrosis (miRs-34, 21, 1). Most are similar to LVH/LVF. However, there are several key differences between RV and LV: four miRs (34a, 28, 148a, and 93) were upregulated in RVH/RVF that are downregulated or unchanged in LVH/LVF. Furthermore, there is a corresponding downregulation of their putative target genes involving cell survival, proliferation, metabolism, extracellular matrix turnover, and impaired proteosomal function. The current study demonstrates, for the first time, alterations in miRs during the process of RV remodeling and the gene regulatory pathways leading to RVH and RVF. Many of these alterations are similar to those in the afterload-stressed LV. miRs differentially regulated between the RV and LV may contribute to the RVs increased susceptibility to heart failure.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00163.2011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304367600003

    View details for PubMedID 22454450

  • Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as a Model for Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Sun, N., Yazawa, M., Liu, J., Han, L., Sanchez-Freire, V., Abilez, O. J., Navarrete, E. G., Hu, S., Wang, L., Lee, A., Pavlovic, A., Lin, S., Chen, R., Hajjar, R. J., Snyder, M. P., Dolmetsch, R. E., Butte, M. J., Ashley, E. A., Longaker, M. T., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2012; 4 (130)

    Abstract

    Characterized by ventricular dilatation, systolic dysfunction, and progressive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common form of cardiomyopathy in patients. DCM is the most common diagnosis leading to heart transplantation and places a significant burden on healthcare worldwide. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offers an exceptional opportunity for creating disease-specific cellular models, investigating underlying mechanisms, and optimizing therapy. Here, we generated cardiomyocytes from iPSCs derived from patients in a DCM family carrying a point mutation (R173W) in the gene encoding sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin T. Compared to control healthy individuals in the same family cohort, cardiomyocytes derived from iPSCs from DCM patients exhibited altered regulation of calcium ion (Ca(2+)), decreased contractility, and abnormal distribution of sarcomeric ?-actinin. When stimulated with a ?-adrenergic agonist, DCM iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes showed characteristics of cellular stress such as reduced beating rates, compromised contraction, and a greater number of cells with abnormal sarcomeric ?-actinin distribution. Treatment with ?-adrenergic blockers or overexpression of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) adenosine triphosphatase (Serca2a) improved the function of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from DCM patients. Thus, iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from DCM patients recapitulate to some extent the morphological and functional phenotypes of DCM and may serve as a useful platform for exploring disease mechanisms and for drug screening.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003552

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303045900004

    View details for PubMedID 22517884

  • Enhancement of Human Adipose-Derived Stromal Cell Angiogenesis through Knockdown of a BMP-2 Inhibitor PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY Levi, B., Nelson, E. R., Hyun, J. S., Glotzbach, J. P., Li, S., Nauta, A., Montoro, D. T., Lee, M., Commons, G. C., Hu, S., Wu, J. C., Gurtner, G. C., Longaker, M. T. 2012; 129 (1): 53-66

    Abstract

    Previous studies have demonstrated the role of noggin, a bone morphogenetic protein-2 inhibitor, in vascular development and angiogenesis. The authors hypothesized that noggin suppression in human adipose-derived stromal cells would enhance vascular endothelial growth factor secretion and angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo to a greater extent than bone morphogenetic protein-2 alone.Human adipose-derived stromal cells were isolated from human lipoaspirate (n = 6) noggin was knocked down using lentiviral techniques. Knockdown was confirmed and angiogenesis was assessed by tubule formation and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cells were seeded onto scaffolds and implanted into a 4-mm critical size calvarial defect. In vivo angiogenic signaling was assessed by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.Human adipose-derived stromal cells with noggin suppression secreted significantly higher amounts of angiogenic proteins, expressed higher levels of angiogenic genes, and formed more tubules in vitro. In vivo, calvarial defects seeded with noggin shRNA human adipose-derived stromal cells exhibited a significantly higher number of vessels in the defect site than controls by immunohistochemistry (p < 0.05). In addition, bone morphogenetic protein-2-releasing scaffolds significantly enhanced vascular signaling in the defect site.Human adipose-derived stromal cells demonstrate significant increases in angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo with both noggin suppression and BMP-2 supplementation. By creating a cell with noggin suppressed and by using a scaffold with increased bone morphogenetic protein-2 signaling, a more angiogenic niche can be created.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182361ff5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298857100075

    View details for PubMedID 21915082

  • Preclinical Derivation and Imaging of Autologously Transplanted Canine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Lee, A. S., Xu, D., Plews, J. R., Nguyen, P. K., Nag, D., Lyons, J. K., Han, L., Hu, S., Lan, F., Liu, J., Huang, M., Narsinh, K. H., Long, C. T., de Almeida, P. E., Levi, B., Kooreman, N., Bangs, C., Pacharinsak, C., Ikeno, F., Yeung, A. C., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2011; 286 (37): 32697-32704

    Abstract

    Derivation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens a new avenue for future applications of regenerative medicine. However, before iPSCs can be used in a clinical setting, it is critical to validate their in vivo fate following autologous transplantation. Thus far, preclinical studies have been limited to small animals and have yet to be conducted in large animals that are physiologically more similar to humans. In this study, we report the first autologous transplantation of iPSCs in a large animal model through the generation of canine iPSCs (ciPSCs) from the canine adipose stromal cells and canine fibroblasts of adult mongrel dogs. We confirmed pluripotency of ciPSCs using the following techniques: (i) immunostaining and quantitative PCR for the presence of pluripotent and germ layer-specific markers in differentiated ciPSCs; (ii) microarray analysis that demonstrates similar gene expression profiles between ciPSCs and canine embryonic stem cells; (iii) teratoma formation assays; and (iv) karyotyping for genomic stability. Fate of ciPSCs autologously transplanted to the canine heart was tracked in vivo using clinical positron emission tomography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. To demonstrate clinical potential of ciPSCs to treat models of injury, we generated endothelial cells (ciPSC-ECs) and used these cells to treat immunodeficient murine models of myocardial infarction and hindlimb ischemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.235739

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294726800078

    View details for PubMedID 21719696

  • Single cell transcriptional profiling reveals heterogeneity of human induced pluripotent stem cells JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Narsinh, K. H., Sun, N., Sanchez-Freire, V., Lee, A. S., Almeida, P., Hu, S., Jan, T., Wilson, K. D., Leong, D., Rosenberg, J., Yao, M., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2011; 121 (3): 1217-1221

    Abstract

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are promising candidate cell sources for regenerative medicine. However, despite the common ability of hiPSCs and hESCs to differentiate into all 3 germ layers, their functional equivalence at the single cell level remains to be demonstrated. Moreover, single cell heterogeneity amongst stem cell populations may underlie important cell fate decisions. Here, we used single cell analysis to resolve the gene expression profiles of 362 hiPSCs and hESCs for an array of 42 genes that characterize the pluripotent and differentiated states. Comparison between single hESCs and single hiPSCs revealed markedly more heterogeneity in gene expression levels in the hiPSCs, suggesting that hiPSCs occupy an alternate, less stable pluripotent state. hiPSCs also displayed slower growth kinetics and impaired directed differentiation as compared with hESCs. Our results suggest that caution should be exercised before assuming that hiPSCs occupy a pluripotent state equivalent to that of hESCs, particularly when producing differentiated cells for regenerative medicine aims.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI44635

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287991000039

    View details for PubMedID 21317531

  • Studies in Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells: Migration and Participation in Repair of Cranial Injury after Systemic Injection PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY Levi, B., James, A. W., Nelson, E. R., Hu, S., Sun, N., Peng, M., Wu, J., Longaker, M. T. 2011; 127 (3): 1130-1140

    Abstract

    Adipose-derived stromal cells are a multipotent cell type with the ability to undergo osteogenic differentiation. The authors sought to examine whether systemically administered adipose-derived stromal cells would migrate to and heal surgically created defects of the mouse cranial skeleton.Mouse adipose-derived stromal cells were harvested from luciferase-positive transgenic mice; human adipose-derived stromal cells were harvested from human lipoaspirate and labeled with luciferase and green fluorescent protein. A 4-mm calvarial defect (critical sized) was made in the mouse parietal bone; skin incisions alone were used as a control (n = 5 per group). Adipose-derived stromal cells were injected intravenously (200,000 cells per animal) and compared with saline injection only. Methods of analyses included micro-computed tomographic scanning, in vivo imaging system detection of luciferase activity, and standard histology.Migration of adipose-derived stromal cells to calvarial defect sites was confirmed by accumulation of luciferase activity and green fluorescent protein stain as early as 4 days and persisting up to 4 weeks. Little activity was observed among control groups. Intravenous administration of either mouse or human adipose-derived stromal cells resulted in histologic evidence of bone formation within the defect site, in comparison with an absence of bone among control defects. By micro-computed tomographic analysis, human but not mouse adipose-derived stromal cells stimulated significant osseous healing.Intravenously administered adipose-derived stromal cells migrate to sites of calvarial injury. Thereafter, intravenous human adipose-derived stromal cells contribute to bony calvarial repair. Intravenous administration of adipose-derived stromal cells may be an effective delivery method for future efforts in skeletal regeneration.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182043712

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287680200013

    View details for PubMedID 21364416

  • Double Knockdown of Prolyl Hydroxylase and Factor-Inhibiting Hypoxia-Inducible Factor With Nonviral Minicircle Gene Therapy Enhances Stem Cell Mobilization and Angiogenesis After Myocardial Infarction CIRCULATION Huang, M., Nguyen, P., Jia, F., Hu, S., Gong, Y., de Almeida, P. E., Wang, L., Nag, D., Kay, W. A., Giaccia, A. J., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2011; 124 (11): S46-54
  • Dynamic MicroRNA Expression Programs During Cardiac Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Role for miR-499 CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR GENETICS Wilson, K. D., Hu, S., Venkatasubrahmanyam, S., Fu, J., Sun, N., Abilez, O. J., Baugh, J. J., Jia, F., Ghosh, Z., Li, R. A., Butte, A. J., Wu, J. C. 2010; 3 (5): 426-U97

    Abstract

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a newly discovered endogenous class of small, noncoding RNAs that play important posttranscriptional regulatory roles by targeting messenger RNAs for cleavage or translational repression. Human embryonic stem cells are known to express miRNAs that are often undetectable in adult organs, and a growing body of evidence has implicated miRNAs as important arbiters of heart development and disease.To better understand the transition between the human embryonic and cardiac "miRNA-omes," we report here the first miRNA profiling study of cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells. Analyzing 711 unique miRNAs, we have identified several interesting miRNAs, including miR-1, -133, and -208, that have been previously reported to be involved in cardiac development and disease and that show surprising patterns of expression across our samples. We also identified novel miRNAs, such as miR-499, that are strongly associated with cardiac differentiation and that share many predicted targets with miR-208. Overexpression of miR-499 and -1 resulted in upregulation of important cardiac myosin heavy-chain genes in embryoid bodies; miR-499 overexpression also caused upregulation of the cardiac transcription factor MEF2C.Taken together, our data give significant insight into the regulatory networks that govern human embryonic stem cell differentiation and highlight the ability of miRNAs to perturb, and even control, the genes that are involved in cardiac specification of human embryonic stem cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.109.934281

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283163100006

    View details for PubMedID 20733065

  • Persistent Donor Cell Gene Expression among Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Contributes to Differences with Human Embryonic Stem Cells PLOS ONE Ghosh, Z., Wilson, K. D., Wu, Y., Hu, S., Quertermous, T., Wu, J. C. 2010; 5 (2)

    Abstract

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generated by de-differentiation of adult somatic cells offer potential solutions for the ethical issues surrounding human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), as well as their immunologic rejection after cellular transplantation. However, although hiPSCs have been described as "embryonic stem cell-like", these cells have a distinct gene expression pattern compared to hESCs, making incomplete reprogramming a potential pitfall. It is unclear to what degree the difference in tissue of origin may contribute to these gene expression differences. To answer these important questions, a careful transcriptional profiling analysis is necessary to investigate the exact reprogramming state of hiPSCs, as well as analysis of the impression, if any, of the tissue of origin on the resulting hiPSCs. In this study, we compare the gene profiles of hiPSCs derived from fetal fibroblasts, neonatal fibroblasts, adipose stem cells, and keratinocytes to their corresponding donor cells and hESCs. Our analysis elucidates the overall degree of reprogramming within each hiPSC line, as well as the "distance" between each hiPSC line and its donor cell. We further identify genes that have a similar mode of regulation in hiPSCs and their corresponding donor cells compared to hESCs, allowing us to specify core sets of donor genes that continue to be expressed in each hiPSC line. We report that residual gene expression of the donor cell type contributes significantly to the differences among hiPSCs and hESCs, and adds to the incompleteness in reprogramming. Specifically, our analysis reveals that fetal fibroblast-derived hiPSCs are closer to hESCs, followed by adipose, neonatal fibroblast, and keratinocyte-derived hiPSCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0008975

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274209700007

    View details for PubMedID 20126639

  • Feeder-free derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from adult human adipose stem cells PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sun, N., Panetta, N. J., Gupta, D. M., Wilson, K. D., Lee, A., Jia, F., Hu, S., Cherry, A. M., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2009; 106 (37): 15720-15725

    Abstract

    Ectopic expression of transcription factors can reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state. However, most of the studies used skin fibroblasts as the starting population for reprogramming, which usually take weeks for expansion from a single biopsy. We show here that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from adult human adipose stem cells (hASCs) freshly isolated from patients. Furthermore, iPS cells can be readily derived from adult hASCs in a feeder-free condition, thereby eliminating potential variability caused by using feeder cells. hASCs can be safely and readily isolated from adult humans in large quantities without extended time for expansion, are easy to maintain in culture, and therefore represent an ideal autologous source of cells for generating individual-specific iPS cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0908450106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269806600040

    View details for PubMedID 19805220

  • Novel Minicircle Vector for Gene Therapy in Murine Myocardial Infarction CIRCULATION Huang, M., Chen, Z., Hu, S., Jia, F., Li, Z., Hoyt, G., Robbins, R. C., Kay, M. A., Wu, J. C. 2009; 120 (11): S230-S237

    Abstract

    Conventional plasmids for gene therapy produce low-level and short-term gene expression. In this study, we develop a novel nonviral vector that robustly and persistently expresses the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1alpha) therapeutic gene in the heart, leading to functional benefits after myocardial infarction.We first created minicircles (MC) carrying double-fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Fluc-eGFP) for noninvasive measurement of transfection efficiency. Mouse C2C12 myoblasts and normal FVB/N mice were used for in vitro and in vivo confirmation, respectively. Bioluminescence imaging showed stable MC gene expression in the heart for >12 weeks and the activity level was 5.6+/-1.2-fold stronger than regular plasmid at day 4 (P<0.01). Next, we created MC carrying HIF-1alpha (MC-HIF-1alpha) therapeutic gene for treatment of myocardial infarction. Adult FVB/N mice underwent left anterior descending ligation and were injected intramyocardially with: (1) MC-HIF-1alpha; (2) regular plasmid carrying HIF-1alpha (PL-HIF-1alpha) as positive control; and (3) PBS as negative control (n=10/group). Echocardiographic study showed a significantly greater improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction in the MC group (51.3%+/-3.6%) compared to regular plasmid group (42.3%+/-4.1%) and saline group (30.5%+/-2.8%) at week 4 (P<0.05 for both). Histology demonstrated increased neoangiogenesis in both treatment groups. Finally, Western blot showed MC express >50% higher HIF-1alpha level than regular plasmid.Taken together, this is the first study to our knowledge to demonstrate that MC can significantly improve transfection efficiency, duration of transgene expression, and cardiac contractility. Given the serious drawbacks associated with most viral vectors, we believe this novel nonviral vector can be of great value for cardiac gene therapy protocols.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.841155

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269773000033

    View details for PubMedID 19752373

  • Mechanisms on the regulation of miRNAs expression Prog Biochem Biophys Hu SJ, Yang ZM 2008; 35 (5): 483-7
  • Serial analysis of gene expression in mouse uterus at the implantation site JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Ma, X. H., Hu, S. J., Ni, H., Zhao, Y. C., Tian, Z., Liu, J. L., Ren, G., Liang, X. H., Yu, H., Wan, P., Yang, Z. M. 2006; 281 (14): 9351-9360

    Abstract

    Although oligonucleotide chips, cDNA microarrays, differential display reverse transcription-PCR, and other approaches have been used to screen implantation-related molecules, the mechanism by which embryo implantation occurs is still unknown. The aim of this study was to profile the differential gene expression between interimplantation site and implantation site in mouse uterus on day 5 of pregnancy by serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). In our two SAGE libraries of 11-bp tags, the total numbers of tags sequenced were 48,121 for the interimplantation site and 50,227 for the implantation site. There were 1,039 tags specifically expressed at interimplantation site, and 1,252 tags specifically expressed at the implantation site. Based on the p value, there were 195 tags significantly up-regulated at the interimplantation site and 261 tags significantly up-regulated at the implantation site, of which 100 genes were single matched at the interimplantation site and 127 genes were single matched at the implantation site, respectively. By reverse transcription-PCR, the tag ratio between the implantation site and interimplantation site was verified on 14 significantly changed genes. Using in situ hybridization, 1810014L12Rik, Psmb5, Cd63, Npm1, Fads3, and Tagln2 were shown to be highly expressed at the implantation site compared with the interimplantation site. Compared with the interimplantation site, Ddx39 was strongly expressed in the subluminal stromal cells at the implantation site on day 5 of pregnancy. Ddx39 expression at the implantation site was specifically induced by active blastocysts. Additionally, Ddx39 expression was significantly up-regulated by estrogen in the ovariectomized mice. In our SAGE data, many implantation-related genes were identified in mouse uterus. Our data could be a valuable source for future study on embryo implantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M511512200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236404700044

    View details for PubMedID 16434403

  • Differential expression of transcriptional repressor snail gene at implantation site in mouse uterus MOLECULAR REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT Ma, X. H., Hu, S. J., Yu, H., Xu, L. B., Yang, Z. M. 2006; 73 (2): 133-141

    Abstract

    The snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors is involved in pronounced cell movements during both embryonic development and tumor progression. This study was to examine snail expression in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation, steroid hormone treatment, and artificial decidualization by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. There was a low level of snail mRNA signal and immunostaining in mouse uteri on day 1-4 of pregnancy. When embryo implanted on day 5, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were strongly detected in the subluminal stroma immediately surrounding the implanting blastocyst, but not detected in the inter-implantation sites. Under delayed implantation, there was no detectable snail expression. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implanted, there was a strong level of snail mRNA and immunostaining in the subluminal stroma surrounding the implanting blastocyst, which was similar to that on day 5 of pregnancy. Furthermore, there was no detectable snail expression in mouse uterus on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. From day 6-8 of pregnancy, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in the decidua. Our data suggest that snail may play an important role during mouse embryo implantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/mrd.20429

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234370000001

    View details for PubMedID 16261611

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