Instructor, Cardiovascular Institute
Cardiac differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells using developmental biology paradigms, chemically defined reprogramming, culture, and differentiation, disease modeling, cardiotoxicity, electrophysiology
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
Drug attrition rates have increased in past years, resulting in growing costs for the pharmaceutical industry and consumers. The reasons for this include the lack of in vitro models that correlate with clinical results and poor preclinical toxicity screening assays. The in vitro production of human cardiac progenitor cells and cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells provides an amenable source of cells for applications in drug discovery, disease modeling, regenerative medicine, and cardiotoxicity screening. In addition, the ability to derive human-induced pluripotent stem cells from somatic tissues, combined with current high-throughput screening and pharmacogenomics, may help realize the use of these cells to fulfill the potential of personalized medicine. In this review, we discuss the use of pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for drug discovery and cardiotoxicity screening, as well as current hurdles that must be overcome for wider clinical applications of this promising approach.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s12265-012-9423-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000313657700003
View details for PubMedID 23229562
Human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes are a novel source of cells for patient-specific cardiotoxicity drug testing, drug discovery, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine. We describe a versatile and cost-effective protocol for in vitro cardiac differentiation that is effective for a wide variety of hiPSC and human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines. This highly optimized protocol produces contracting human embryoid bodies (hEB) with a near total efficiency of 94.7 ?± ?2.4% in less than 9 days, and minimizes the variability in cardiac differentiation commonly observed between various hiPSC and hESC lines. The contracting hEB derived using these methods contain high percentages of pure functional cardiomyocytes, highly reproducible electrophysiological profiles, and pharmacologic responsiveness to known cardioactive drugs.
View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-62703-348-0_12
View details for PubMedID 23546754
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have received enormous attention because of their ability to differentiate into multiple cell types that demonstrate the patient's original phenotype. The use of hiPSCs is particularly valuable to the study of cardiac biology, as human cardiomyocytes are difficult to isolate and culture and have a limited proliferative potential. By deriving iPSCs from patients with heart disease and subsequently differentiating these hiPSCs to cardiomyocytes, it is feasible to study cardiac biology in vitro and model cardiac diseases. While there are many different methods for deriving hiPSCs, clinical use of these hiPSCs will require derivation by methods that do not involve modification of the original genome (non-integrative) or incorporate xeno-derived products (such as bovine serum albumin) which may contain xeno-agents. Ideally, this derivation would be carried out under chemically defined conditions to prevent lot-to-lot variability and enhance reproducibility. Additionally, derivation from cell types such as fibroblasts requires extended culture (4-6 weeks), greatly increasing the time required to progress from biopsy to hiPSC. Herein, we outline a method of culturing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and reprogramming PBMCs into hiPSCs using a non-integrative Sendai virus.
View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-62703-511-8_7
View details for PubMedID 23807788
In this study, we characterized the electrophysiological benefits of engrafting human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) in a model of arrhythmogenic cardiac tissue. Using transforming growth factor-? treated monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular cells (NRVCs), which retain several key aspects of the healing infarct such as an excess of contractile myofibroblasts and slowed, heterogeneous conduction, we assessed the ability of hESC-CMs to improve conduction and prevent arrhythmias. Cells from beating embryoid bodies (hESC-CMs) can form functional monolayers which beat spontaneously and can be electrically stimulated, with mean action potential duration of 275 ± 36 ms and conduction velocity (CV) of 10.6 ± 4.2 cm/s (n = 3). These cells, or cells from non-beating embryoid bodies (hEBCs) were added to anisotropic, NRVC monolayers. Immunostaining demonstrated hESC-CM survival and engraftment, and dye transfer assays confirmed functional coupling between hESC-CMs and NRVCs. Conduction velocities significantly increased in anisotropic NRVC monolayers after engraftment of hESC-CMs (13.4 ± 0.9 cm/s, n = 35 vs. 30.1 ± 3.2 cm/s, n = 20 in the longitudinal direction and 4.3 ± 0.3 cm/s vs. 9.3 ± 0.9 cm/s in the transverse direction), but decreased to even lower values after engraftment of non-cardiac hEBCs (to 10.6 ± 1.3 cm/s and 3.1 ± 0.5 cm/s, n = 11, respectively). Furthermore, reentrant wave vulnerability in NRVC monolayers decreased by 20% after engraftment of hESC-CMs, but did not change with engraftment of hEBCs. Finally, the culture of hESC-CMs in transwell inserts, which prevents juxtacrine interactions, or engraftment with connexin43-silenced hESC-CMs provided no functional improvement to NRVC monolayers. These results demonstrate that hESC-CMs can reverse the slowing of conduction velocity, reduce the incidence of reentry, and augment impaired electrical propagation via gap junction coupling to host cardiomyocytes in this arrhythmogenic in vitro model.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2012.01.023
View details for Web of Science ID 000305592100004
View details for PubMedID 22713758
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. The limited capability of heart tissue to regenerate has prompted methodological developments for creating de novo cardiomyocytes, both in vitro and in vivo. Beyond uses in cell replacement therapy, patient-specific cardiomyocytes may find applications in drug testing, drug discovery, and disease modeling. Recently, approaches for generating cardiomyocytes have expanded to encompass three major sources of starting cells: human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), adult heart-derived cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs), and reprogrammed fibroblasts. We discuss state-of-the-art methods for generating de novo cardiomyocytes from hPSCs and reprogrammed fibroblasts, highlighting potential applications and future challenges.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2011.12.013
View details for Web of Science ID 000299449500008
View details for PubMedID 22226352
Being able to self-renew and differentiate into virtually all cell types, both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have exciting therapeutic implications for myocardial infarction, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and other disorders involving irreversible cell loss. However, stem cell biology remains incompletely understood despite significant advances in the field. Inefficient stem cell differentiation, difficulty in verifying successful delivery to the target organ, and problems with engraftment all hamper the transition from laboratory animal studies to human clinical trials. Although traditional histopathological techniques have been the primary approach for ex vivo analysis of stem cell behavior, these postmortem examinations are unable to further elucidate the underlying mechanisms in real time and in vivo. Fortunately, the advent of molecular imaging has led to unprecedented progress in understanding the fundamental behavior of stem cells, including their survival, biodistribution, immunogenicity, and tumorigenicity in the targeted tissues of interest. This review summarizes various molecular imaging technologies and how they have advanced the current understanding of stem cell survival, biodistribution, immunogenicity, and tumorigenicity.
View details for DOI 10.7150/thno.3666
View details for Web of Science ID 000304031200002
View details for PubMedID 22509197
Stem cells represent obvious choices for regenerative medicine and are invaluable for studies of human development and drug testing. The proteomic landscape of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), in particular, is not yet clearly defined; consequently, this field of research would greatly benefit from concerted efforts designed to better characterize these cells. In this concise review, we provide an overview of stem cell potency, highlight the types and practical implications of heterogeneity in PSCs and provide a detailed analysis of the current view of the pluripotent proteome in a unique resource for this rapidly evolving field. Our goal in this review is to provide specific insights into the current status of the known proteome of both mouse and human PSCs. This has been accomplished by integrating published data into a unified PSC proteome to facilitate the identification of proteins, which may be informative for the stem cell state as well as to reveal areas where our current view is limited. These analyses provide insight into the challenges faced in the proteomic analysis of PSCs and reveal one area--the cell surface subproteome--that would especially benefit from enhanced research efforts.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.201100100
View details for Web of Science ID 000296491800002
View details for PubMedID 21834136
The production of cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) holds great promise for patient-specific cardiotoxicity drug testing, disease modeling, and cardiac regeneration. However, existing protocols for the differentiation of hiPSC to the cardiac lineage are inefficient and highly variable. We describe a highly efficient system for differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and hiPSC to the cardiac lineage. This system eliminated the variability in cardiac differentiation capacity of a variety of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), including hiPSC generated from CD34(+) cord blood using non-viral, non-integrating methods.We systematically and rigorously optimized >45 experimental variables to develop a universal cardiac differentiation system that produced contracting human embryoid bodies (hEB) with an improved efficiency of 94.7±2.4% in an accelerated nine days from four hESC and seven hiPSC lines tested, including hiPSC derived from neonatal CD34(+) cord blood and adult fibroblasts using non-integrating episomal plasmids. This cost-effective differentiation method employed forced aggregation hEB formation in a chemically defined medium, along with staged exposure to physiological (5%) oxygen, and optimized concentrations of mesodermal morphogens BMP4 and FGF2, polyvinyl alcohol, serum, and insulin. The contracting hEB derived using these methods were composed of high percentages (64-89%) of cardiac troponin I(+) cells that displayed ultrastructural properties of functional cardiomyocytes and uniform electrophysiological profiles responsive to cardioactive drugs.This efficient and cost-effective universal system for cardiac differentiation of hiPSC allows a potentially unlimited production of functional cardiomyocytes suitable for application to hPSC-based drug development, cardiac disease modeling, and the future generation of clinically-safe nonviral human cardiac cells for regenerative medicine.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0018293
View details for Web of Science ID 000289292800007
View details for PubMedID 21494607
The ability to maintain human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) during long-term culture and yet induce differentiation to multiple lineages potentially provides a novel approach to address various biomedical problems. Here, we describe derivation of hESC lines, NOTT1 and NOTT2, from human blastocysts graded as 3BC and 3CB, respectively. Both lines were successfully maintained as colonies by mechanical passaging on mouse embryonic feeder cells or as monolayers by trypsin-passaging in feeder-free conditions on Matrigel. Undifferentiated cells retained expression of pluripotency markers (OCT4, NANOG, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60 and TRA-1-81), a stable karyotype during long-term culture and could be transfected efficiently with plasmid DNA and short interfering RNA. Differentiation via formation of embryoid bodies resulted in expression of genes associated with early germ layers and terminal lineage specification. The electrophysiology of spontaneously beating NOTT1-derived cardiomyocytes was recorded and these cells were shown to be pharmacologically responsive. Histological examination of teratomas formed by in vivo differentiation of both lines in severe immunocompromised mice showed complex structures including cartilage or smooth muscle (mesoderm), luminal epithelium (endoderm) and neuroectoderm (ectoderm). These observations show that NOTT1 and NOTT2 display the accepted characteristics of hESC pluripotency.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11626-010-9290-6
View details for Web of Science ID 000276768700027
View details for PubMedID 20177995
Recent characterization of hemangioblasts differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) has further confirmed evidence from murine, zebrafish and avian experimental systems that hematopoietic and endothelial lineages arise from a common progenitor. Such progenitors may provide a valuable resource for delineating the initial developmental steps of human hemato-endotheliogenesis, which is a process normally difficult to study due to the very limited accessibility of early human embryonic/fetal tissues. Moreover, efficient hemangioblast and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) generation from patient-specific pluripotent stem cells has enormous potential for regenerative medicine, since it could lead to strategies for treating a multitude of hematologic and vascular disorders. However, significant scientific challenges remain in achieving these goals, and the generation of transplantable hemangioblasts and HSC derived from hESC currently remains elusive. Our previous work has suggested that the failure to derive engraftable HSC from hESC is due to the fact that current methodologies for differentiating hESC produce hematopoietic progenitors developmentally similar to those found in the human yolk sac, and are therefore too immature to provide adult-type hematopoietic reconstitution. Herein, we outline the nature of this challenge and propose targeted strategies for generating engraftable human pluripotent stem cell-derived HSC from primitive hemangioblasts using a developmental approach. We also focus on methods by which reprogrammed somatic cells could be used to derive autologous pluripotent stem cells, which in turn could provide unlimited sources of patient-specific hemangioblasts and HSC.
View details for DOI 10.1387/ijdb.093043ap
View details for Web of Science ID 000282481100004
View details for PubMedID 20563986
Although all human ESC (hESC) lines have similar morphology, express key pluripotency markers, and can differentiate toward primitive germ layers in vitro, the lineage-specific developmental potential may vary between individual lines. In the current study, four hESC lines were cultured in the same feeder-free conditions to provide a standardized platform for interline analysis. A high-throughput, forced-aggregation system involving centrifugation of defined numbers of hESCs in V-96 plates (V-96FA) was developed to examine formation, growth, and subsequent cardiomyocyte differentiation from >22,000 EBs. Homogeneity of EBs formed by V-96FA in mouse embryo fibroblast-conditioned medium was significantly improved compared with formation in mass culture (p < .02; Levene's test). V-96FA EB formation was successful in all four lines, although significant differences in EB growth were observed during the first 6 days of differentiation (p = .044 to .001; one-way analysis of variance [ANOVA]). Cardiomyocyte differentiation potential also varied; 9.5% +/- 0.9%, 6.6% +/- 2.4%, 5.2% +/- 3.1%, and 1.6% +/- 1.0% beating EBs were identified for HUES-7, NOTT2, NOTT1, and BG01, respectively (p = .008; one-way ANOVA). Formation of HUES-7 V-96FA EBs in defined medium containing activin A and basic fibroblast growth factor resulted in 23.6% +/- 3.6% beating EBs, representing a 13.1-fold increase relative to mass culture (1.8% +/- 0.7%), consistent with an observed 14.8-fold increase in MYH6 (alphaMHC) expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction. In contrast, no beating areas were derived from NOTT1-EBs and BG01-EBs formed in defined medium. Thus, the V-96FA system highlighted interline variability in EB growth and cardiomyocyte differentiation but, under the test conditions described, identified HUES-7 as a line that can respond to cardiomyogenic stimulation.
View details for DOI 10.1634/stemcells.2006-0598
View details for Web of Science ID 000245766400015
View details for PubMedID 17185609
The multipotency and proliferative capacity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) make them a promising source of stem cells for transplant therapies and of vital importance given the shortage in organ donation. Recent studies suggest some immune privilege associated with hESC-derived tissues. However, the adaptability of the immune system makes it unlikely that fully differentiated tissues will permanently evade immune rejection. One promising solution is to induce a state of immune tolerance to a hESC line using tolerogenic hematopoietic cells derived from it. This could provide acceptance of other differentiated tissues from the same line. However, this approach will require efficient multilineage hematopoiesis from hESCs. This review proposes that more efficient differentiation of hESCs to the tolerogenic cell types required is most likely to occur through applying knowledge gained of the ontogeny of complex regulatory signals used by the embryo for definitive hematopoietic development in vivo. Stepwise formation of mesoderm, induction of definitive hematopoietic stem cells, and the application of factors key to their self-renewal may improve in vitro production both quantitatively and qualitatively.
View details for DOI 10.1634/stemcells.2005-0356
View details for Web of Science ID 000240636300004
View details for PubMedID 16306149
Our laboratory is evaluating whether an epigenetic mechanism involving alterations in DNA methylation can alter the trajectory of embryonic/fetal development in response to maternal nutrients. A similar mechanism may operate in embryo culture environments commonly used in human assisted conception. Since developmental studies on early human embryos in utero are obviously not possible, we have begun to investigate the utility of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to uncover potential programming mechanisms. This review highlights some of the advantages and problems associated with such a model and suggests that these issues are also broadly applicable to utility of hESC for more general toxicology and drug screening applications.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.reprotox.2005.04.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000230805200008
View details for PubMedID 15975761
A physical map of a genome is an essential guide for navigation, allowing the location of any gene or other landmark in the chromosomal DNA. We have constructed a physical map of the mouse genome that contains 296 contigs of overlapping bacterial clones and 16,992 unique markers. The mouse contigs were aligned to the human genome sequence on the basis of 51,486 homology matches, thus enabling use of the conserved synteny (correspondence between chromosome blocks) of the two genomes to accelerate construction of the mouse map. The map provides a framework for assembly of whole-genome shotgun sequence data, and a tile path of clones for generation of the reference sequence. Definition of the human-mouse alignment at this level of resolution enables identification of a mouse clone that corresponds to almost any position in the human genome. The human sequence may be used to facilitate construction of other mammalian genome maps using the same strategy.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature00957
View details for Web of Science ID 000177428000030
View details for PubMedID 12181558