Doctor of Philosophy, Freie Universitat Berlin (2011)
Diplom, Georg August Universitat Gottingen (2005)
Joseph Wu, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Since the concept of reprogramming mature somatic cells to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) was demonstrated in 2006, iPSCs have become a potential substitute for embryonic stem cells (ESCs) given their pluripotency and "stemness" characteristics, which resemble those of ESCs. We investigated to reprogram fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) to generate iPSCs using a 4-in-1 lentiviral vector system.A 4-in-1 lentiviral vector containing Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc was transduced into RA and OA FLSs isolated from the synovia of two RA patients and two OA patients. Immunohistochemical staining and real-time PCR studies were performed to demonstrate the pluripotency of iPSCs. Chromosomal abnormalities were determined based on the karyotype. SCID-beige mice were injected with iPSCs and sacrificed to test for teratoma formation.After 14 days of transduction using the 4-in-1 lentiviral vector, RA FLSs and OA FLSs were transformed into spherical shapes that resembled embryonic stem cell colonies. Colonies were picked and cultivated on matrigel plates to produce iPSC lines. Real-time PCR of RA and OA iPSCs detected positive markers of pluripotency. Immunohistochemical staining tests with Nanog, Oct4, Sox2, Tra-1-80, Tra-1-60, and SSEA-4 were also positive. Teratomas that comprised three compartments of ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm were formed at the injection sites of iPSCs. Established iPSCs were shown to be compatible by karyotyping. Finally, we confirmed that the patient-derived iPSCs were able to differentiate into osteoblast, which was shown by an osteoimage mineralization assay.FLSs derived from RA and OA could be cell resources for iPSC reprogramming. Disease- and patient-specific iPSCs have the potential to be applied in clinical settings as source materials for molecular diagnosis and regenerative therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1186/ar4470
View details for PubMedID 24490617
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
Aging is known to be the single most important risk factor for multiple diseases. Sirtuin-6, or SIRT6, has recently been identified as a critical regulator of transcription, genome stability, telomere integrity, DNA repair, and metabolic homeostasis. A knockout mouse model of SIRT6 has displayed dramatic phenotypes of accelerated aging. In keeping with its role in aging, we demonstrated that human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) from older subjects were more resistant to reprogramming by classic Yamanaka factors than those from young subjects, but the addition of SIRT6 during reprogramming substantially improved such efficiency in older HDFs. Despite the importance of SIRT6, little is known about the molecular mechanism of its regulation. We show for the first time post-transcriptional regulation of SIRT6 by miR-766 and inverse correlation in the expression of this microRNA in HDFs from different age groups. Our results suggest that SIRT6 regulates miR-766 transcription via a feedback regulatory loop, which has implications for the modulation of SIRT6 expression in reprogramming of aging cells.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M112.405928
View details for PubMedID 23653361
Cardiotoxicity is a leading cause for drug attrition during pharmaceutical development and has resulted in numerous preventable patient deaths. Incidents of adverse cardiac drug reactions are more common in patients with preexisting heart disease than the general population. Here we generated a library of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) from patients with various hereditary cardiac disorders to model differences in cardiac drug toxicity susceptibility for patients of different genetic backgrounds.Action potential duration and drug-induced arrhythmia were measured at the single cell level in hiPSC-CMs derived from healthy subjects and patients with hereditary long QT syndrome, familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and familial dilated cardiomyopathy. Disease phenotypes were verified in long QT syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy hiPSC-CMs by immunostaining and single cell patch clamp. Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) and the human ether-a-go-go-related gene expressing human embryonic kidney cells were used as controls. Single cell PCR confirmed expression of all cardiac ion channels in patient-specific hiPSC-CMs as well as hESC-CMs, but not in human embryonic kidney cells. Disease-specific hiPSC-CMs demonstrated increased susceptibility to known cardiotoxic drugs as measured by action potential duration and quantification of drug-induced arrhythmias such as early afterdepolarizations and delayed afterdepolarizations.We have recapitulated drug-induced cardiotoxicity profiles for healthy subjects, long QT syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy patients at the single cell level for the first time. Our data indicate that healthy and diseased individuals exhibit different susceptibilities to cardiotoxic drugs and that use of disease-specific hiPSC-CMs may predict adverse drug responses more accurately than the standard human ether-a-go-go-related gene test or healthy control hiPSC-CM/hESC-CM screening assays.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001883
View details for PubMedID 23519760
We report new functions of the cell-adhesion molecule E-cadherin in murine pluripotent cells. E-cadherin is highly expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells, and interference with E-cadherin causes differentiation. During cellular reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts by OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC, fully reprogrammed cells were exclusively observed in the E-cadherin-positive cell population and could not be obtained in the absence of E-cadherin. Moreover, reprogrammed cells could be established by viral E-cadherin in the absence of exogenous OCT4. Thus, reprogramming requires spatial cues that cross-talk with essential transcription factors. The cell-adhesion molecule E-cadherin has important functions in pluripotency and reprogramming.
View details for DOI 10.1038/embor.2011.88
View details for Web of Science ID 000292325700024
View details for PubMedID 21617704
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be maintained undifferentiated (pluripotent) or differentiated to basically all functional cell types, depending on the culture conditions used. Culture of hESCs in the presence of medium conditioned by mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) can be used to keep hESCs undifferentiated. This observation suggests that MEFs produce factors required for the pluripotency of hESCs. The data presented here show that fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) treatment of MEFs is crucial for the production of these factors. To identify the potential factors that are expressed in the presence of FGF2 in MEFs, a global expression profile analysis using microarrays was performed. This analysis indicated that 17 secreted factors are downregulated in the absence of FGF2. These factors include several ligands for known signaling receptors, extracellular proteases and components of the extracellular matrix, that may all be involved in signaling events. Surprisingly, we found that selective blocking of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling by the MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor U0126 affected the expression of only some of the FGF2-regulated genes, suggesting FGF2-induced pathways that are independent of ERK signaling. It has been shown recently that activation of Activin/Nodal signaling and inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein signaling are required for the maintenance of pluripotency. Accordingly, among the 17 FGF2-regulated genes we found inhibin beta B that can lead to the assembly of Activin B and gremlin 1 that codes for an antagonist of bone morphogenetic proteins. This study identifies potentially important factors involved in the maintenance of pluripotency in hESCs and may allow the development of defined culture conditions without contaminating material from animal cells.
View details for DOI 10.1159/000121282
View details for Web of Science ID 000257458500007
View details for PubMedID 18334814
The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), a highly conserved glycoprotein predominantly expressed by neuronal cells, can convert into an abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) and provoke a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. In spite of many studies, the physiological function of PrP(C) remains unknown. Recent findings suggest that PrP(C) is a multifunctional protein participating in several cellular processes. Using recombinant human PrP as a probe, we performed far-Western immunoblotting (protein overlay assay) to detect cellular PrP(C) interactors. Brain extracts of wild-type and PrP knockout mice were screened by far-Western immunoblotting for PrP-specific interactions. Subsequently, putative ligands were isolated by 2-DE and identified by MALDI-TOF MS, enabling identification of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 and aldolase C as novel interaction partners of PrP(C). These data provide the first evidence of a molecule indicating a mechanism for the predicted involvement of PrP(C) in nucleic acid metabolisms. In summary, we have shown the successful combination of 2-DE with far-Western immunoblotting and MALDI-TOF MS for identification of new cellular binding partners of a known protein. Especially the application of this technique to investigate other neurodegenerative diseases is promising.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.200500066
View details for Web of Science ID 000234764800004
View details for PubMedID 16294306