Affinity-matured DLL4 ligands as broad-spectrum modulators of Notch signaling.
Nature chemical biology
The Notch pathway regulates cell fate decisions and is an emerging target for regenerative and cancer therapies. Recombinant Notch ligands are attractive candidates for modulating Notch signaling; however, their intrinsically low receptor-binding affinity restricts their utility in biomedical applications. To overcome this limitation, we evolved variants of the ligand Delta-like 4 with enhanced affinity and cross-reactivity. A consensus variant with maximized binding affinity, DeltaMAX, binds human and murine Notch receptors with 500- to 1,000-fold increased affinity compared with wild-type human Delta-like 4. DeltaMAX also potently activates Notch in plate-bound, bead-bound and cellular formats. When administered as a soluble decoy, DeltaMAX inhibits Notch in reporter and neuronal differentiation assays, highlighting its dual utility as an agonist or antagonist. Finally, we demonstrate that DeltaMAX stimulates increased proliferation and expression of effector mediators in T cells. Taken together, our data define DeltaMAX as a versatile tool for broad-spectrum activation or inhibition of Notch signaling.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-022-01113-4
View details for PubMedID 36050494
- Bridging naive and primed pluripotency. Nature cell biology 2020
Spatially controlled stem cell differentiation via morphogen gradients: A comparison of static and dynamic microfluidic platforms.
Journal of vacuum science & technology. A, Vacuum, surfaces, and films : an official journal of the American Vacuum Society
2020; 38 (3): 033205
The ability to harness the processes by which complex tissues arise during embryonic development would improve the ability to engineer complex tissuelike constructs in vitro-a longstanding goal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In embryos, uniform populations of stem cells are exposed to spatial gradients of diffusible extracellular signaling proteins, known as morphogens. Varying levels of these signaling proteins induce stem cells to differentiate into distinct cell types at different positions along the gradient, thus creating spatially patterned tissues. Here, the authors describe two straightforward and easy-to-adopt microfluidic strategies to expose human pluripotent stem cells in vitro to spatial gradients of desired differentiation-inducing extracellular signals. Both approaches afford a high degree of control over the distribution of extracellular signals, while preserving the viability of the cultured stem cells. The first microfluidic platform is commercially available and entails static culture, whereas the second microfluidic platform requires fabrication and dynamic fluid exchange. In each platform, the authors first computationally modeled the spatial distribution of differentiation-inducing extracellular signals. Then, the authors used each platform to expose human pluripotent stem cells to a gradient of these signals (in this case, inducing a cell type known as the primitive streak), resulting in a regionalized culture with differentiated primitive streak cells predominately localized on one side and undifferentiated stem cells at the other side of the device. By combining this approach with a fluorescent reporter for differentiated cells and live-cell fluorescence imaging, the authors characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of primitive streak differentiation within the induced signaling gradients. Microfluidic approaches to create precisely controlled morphogen gradients will add to the stem cell and developmental biology toolkit, and may eventually pave the way to create increasingly spatially patterned tissuelike constructs in vitro.
View details for DOI 10.1116/1.5142012
View details for PubMedID 32255900
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7093209
Pluripotent stem cell-derived interneuron progenitors mature and restore memory deficits but do not suppress seizures in the epileptic mouse brain.
Stem cell research
2018; 33: 83–94
GABAergic interneuron dysfunction has been implicated in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), autism, and schizophrenia. Inhibitory interneuron progenitors transplanted into the hippocampus of rodents with TLE provide varying degrees of seizure suppression. We investigated whether human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived interneuron progenitors (hESNPs) could differentiate, correct hippocampal-dependent spatial memory deficits, and suppress seizures in a pilocarpine-induced TLE mouse model. We found that transplanted ventralized hESNPs differentiated into mature GABAergic interneurons and became electrophysiologically active with mature firing patterns. Some mice developed hESNP-derived tumor-like NSC clusters. Mice with transplants showed significant improvement in the Morris water maze test, but transplants did not suppress seizures. The limited effects of the human GABAergic interneuron progenitor grafts may be due to cell type heterogeneity within the transplants.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.scr.2018.10.007
View details for PubMedID 30340090