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Articles by Deborah L. French in JoVE

 JoVE Biology

Generation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Peripheral Blood Using the STEMCCA Lentiviral Vector

1Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), Boston University School of Medicine, 2Department of Hematology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


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Here we show a simple and effective protocol for the generation of human iPSCs from 3-4 ml of peripheral blood using a single lentiviral reprogramming vector. Reprogramming of readily available blood cells promises to accelerate the utilization of iPSC technology by making it accessible to a broader research community.

Other articles by Deborah L. French on PubMed

Monoclonal Antibodies by Somatic Cell Fusion

Two New Beta3 Integrin Mutations in Indian Patients with Glanzmann Thrombasthenia: Localization of Mutations Affecting Cysteine Residues in Integrin Beta3

New mutations in the beta3 integrin subunit have been identified in two unrelated Glanzmann thrombasthenia patients originating from India and Bangladesh. Both patients had histories of excessive bleeding and were found to have Glanzmann thrombasthenia based on absent ADP-induced platelet aggregation. Immunoblotting of platelet lysates of Patient 1 demonstrated reduced levels of alphaIIb and an unexpected high Mr beta3 band of approximately 260,000, with little or no normal-sized beta3. Upon reduction, a weak beta3 band of normal Mr was observed. Platelet lysates of Patient 2 demonstrated undetectable levels of beta3. Sequence analyses identified homozygous mutations in the beta3 genes of both patients. Patient 1 had a C506Y missense mutation resulting in the expression of an unpaired cysteine; we propose that the Mr approximately 260,000 band is a disulfide-bonded beta3 dimer. Patient 2 had an insertion mutation resulting in a frameshift and premature termination. Both mutations affect biogenesis of platelet alphaIIbbeta3 receptors.

Two Novel Mutations in the Alpha IIb Calcium-binding Domains Identify Hydrophobic Regions Essential for Alpha IIbbeta 3 Biogenesis

The recently published crystal structure of the external domains of alphaVbeta3 confirms the prediction that the aminoterminal portion of alphaV, which shares 40% homology with alphaIIb, folds into a beta-propeller structure and that the 4 calcium-binding domains are positioned on the bottom of the propeller. To gain insight into the role of the calcium-binding domains in alphaIIb biogenesis, we characterized mutations in the second and third calcium-binding domains of alphaIIb in 2 patients with Glanzmann thrombasthenia. One patient inherited a Val298Phe mutation in the second domain, and the other patient inherited an Ile374Thr mutation in the third domain. Mammalian cell expression studies were performed with normal and mutant alphaIIb and beta3 cDNA constructs. By flow cytometry, expression of alphaIIb Val298Phe/beta3 in transfected cells was 28% of control, and expression of alphaIIbIle374Thr/beta3 was 11% of control. Pulse-chase analyses showed that both mutant pro-alphaIIb subunits are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and degraded. Mutagenesis studies of the Val298 and Ile374 residues showed that these highly conserved, branch-chained hydrophobic residues are essential at these positions and that biogenesis and expression of alphaIIbbeta3 is dramatically affected by structural variations in these regions of the calcium-binding domains. Energy calculations derived from a new model of the alphaIIb beta-propeller indicate that these mutations interfere with calcium binding. These data suggest that the alphaIIb calcium-binding domains play a key structural role in the beta-propeller, and that the structural integrity of the calcium-binding domains is critical for integrin biogenesis.

Stathmin Expression and Megakaryocyte Differentiation: a Potential Role in Polyploidy

Megakaryopoiesis is characterized by two major processes, acquisition of lineage-specific markers and polyploidization. Polyploidy is a result of endomitosis, a process that is characterized by continued DNA replication in the presence of abortive mitosis. Stathmin is a major microtubule-regulatory protein that plays an important role in the regulation of the mitotic spindle. Our previous studies had shown that inhibition of stathmin expression in human leukemia cells results in the assembly of atypical mitotic spindles and abnormal exit from mitosis. We hypothesized that the absence of stathmin expression in megakaryocytes might be important for their abortive mitosis.

Integrin Beta3 Regions Controlling Binding of Murine MAb 7E3: Implications for the Mechanism of Integrin AlphaIIbbeta3 Activation

Abciximab, a derivative of the murine mAb 7E3, protects against ischemic complications of percutaneous coronary interventions by inhibiting ligand binding to the alphaIIbbeta3 receptor. In this study we identified regions on integrin beta3 that control 7E3 binding. Murine/human amino acid substitutions were created in two regions of the betaA domain that previous studies found to influence 7E3 binding: the C177-C184 loop and K125-N133. The T182N substitution and a K125Q mutation reduced 7E3 binding to human beta3 in complex with alphaIIb. The introduction of both the human C177-C184 region and human W129 into murine beta3 was necessary and sufficient to permit 7E3 binding to the human alphaIIb/murine beta3 complex. Although we cannot exclude allosteric effects, we propose that 7E3 binds between C177-C184 and W129, which are within 15 A of each other in the crystal structure and close to the beta3 metal ion-dependent adhesion site. We previously demonstrated that 7E3 binds more rapidly to activated than unactivated platelets. Because it has been proposed that alphaIIbbeta3 changes from a bent to an extended conformation upon activation, we hypothesized that 7E3 binds less well to the bent than the extended conformation. In support of this hypothesis we found that 7E3 bound less well to an alphaIIbbeta3 construct locked in a bent conformation, and unlocking the conformation restored 7E3 binding. Thus, our data are consistent with alphaIIbbeta3 existing in variably bent conformations in equilibrium with each other on unactivated platelets, and activation resulting in alphaIIbbeta3 adopting a more extended conformation.

Evidence for Megakaryocyte Engraftment Following Reduced-intensity Conditioning

Assessment of donor chimerism is becoming increasingly important in patients undergoing reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic bone marrow transplants, due to the possibility of mixed chimeras. This regimen has been used successfully for patients with leukemia and genetic disorders with donor chimerism occurring in the myeloid, lymphoid, and/or erythroid lineages. Less toxic RIC expands the potential application of stem cell transplants to patients with nonmalignant disorders of hematopoiesis, such as the severe form of Glanzmann thrombasthenia, who previously were not considered suitable candidates based on risk-benefit analysis. To assess megakaryocyte/platelet chimerism after stem cell transplantation conducted with RIC, we used restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence analyses of the HPA-3 polymorphism in the megakaryocyte/platelet-specific glycoprotein alphaIIb. In this study we show that at 23 weeks post-RIC, a leukemia patient acquired the HPA-3 donor phenotype at the DNA and platelet RNA levels.

AlphaIIbbeta3 Biogenesis is Controlled by Engagement of AlphaIIb in the Calnexin Cycle Via the N15-linked Glycan

Although much is known about alphaIIbbeta3 structure and function, relatively little is understood about its biogenesis. Thus, we studied the kinetics of pro-alphaIIb production and degradation, focusing on whether proteasomal degradation or the calnexin cycle participates in these processes. In pulse-chase analyses, the time to half-disappearance of pro-alphaIIb (t1/2) was the same in (1) HEK293 cells transfected with (a) alphaIIb plus beta3, (b) alphaIIb alone, (c) mutant V298FalphaIIb plus beta3, or (d) I374TalphaIIb plus beta3; and (2) murine wild-type and beta3-null megakaryocytes. Inhibition of the proteasome prolonged the t1/2 values in both HEK293 cells and murine megakaryocytes. Calnexin coprecipitated with alphaIIb from HEK293 cells transfected with alphaIIb alone, alphaIIb plus beta3, and V298FalphaIIb plus beta3. For proteins in the calnexin cycle, removal of the terminal mannose residue of the middle branch of the core N-linked glycan results in degradation. Inhibition of the enzyme that removes this mannose residue prevented pro-alphaIIb degradation in beta3-null murine megakaryocytes. alphaIIb contains a conserved glycosylation consensus sequence at N15, and an N15Q mutation prevented pro-alphaIIb maturation, complex formation, and degradation. Our findings suggest that pro-alphaIIb engages the calnexin cycle via the N15 glycan and that failure of pro-alphaIIb to complex normally with beta3 results in proteasomal degradation.

Molecular Diversity of Glanzmann Thrombasthenia in Southern India: New Insights into MRNA Splicing and Structure-function Correlations of AlphaIIbbeta3 Integrin (ITGA2B, ITGB3)

The molecular basis of Glanzmann thrombasthenia (GT) was studied in 40 families from southern India. Of 23 identified mutations (13 in the alphaIIb (ITGA2B) gene and 10 in the beta3 (ITGB3) gene), 20 were novel and three were described previously. Three mutations in the beta3 gene-p.Leu143Trp (Leu117Trp), p.Tyr307Stop (Tyr281Stop), and p.Arg119Gln (Arg93Gln)-were detected in 12, three, and two families, respectively, with definite founder effects observed for the first two mutations. Alternative splicing was predicted in silico for the normal variant and a missense variant of the beta3 gene, and for 10/11 frameshift or nonsense mutations in alphaIIb or beta3. The prediction was confirmed experimentally for a c.2898_2902dupCCCCT mutation in exon 28 of the alphaIIb gene that induced exon skipping. Seven out of nine missense mutations substituted highly conserved amino acids buried in the proteins' cores, predicting structural abnormalities. Among these, a beta3 substitution, p.Cys39Gly (Cys13Gly) was found to cause intracellular degradation of the beta3 subunit, in contrast to previous findings that mutations at Cys435, the partner of Cys13 in a disulfide bond, cause constitutive activation of alphaIIbbeta3. The two patients with a beta3 Arg93Gln mutation had normal clot retraction, consistent with a recent finding that this substitution is associated with normal surface expression of alphaIIbbeta3. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that a variety of mutations account for GT in southern Indian patients, provides new insights into mRNA splicing, and highlights the role of specific amino acids in structure-function correlations of alphaIIbbeta3.

Development and Function of Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells Generated from Mouse Embryonic and Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Emerging evidence suggests that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have great potential as a novel immune intervention modality in the fields of transplantation and autoimmune diseases. Thus far, efforts to develop MDSC-based therapeutic strategies have been hampered by the lack of a reliable source of MDSCs. Here we show that functional MDSCs can be efficiently generated from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and bone marrow hematopoietic stem (HS) cells. In vitro-derived MDSCs encompass two homogenous subpopulations: CD115(+)Ly-6C(+) and CD115(+)Ly-6C(-) cells. The CD115(+)Ly-6C(+) subset is equivalent to the monocytic Gr-1(+)CD115(+)F4/80(+) MDSCs found in tumor-bearing mice. In contrast, the CD115(+)Ly-6C(-) cells, a previously unreported population of MDSCs, resemble the granulocyte/macrophage progenitors developmentally. In vitro, ES- and HS-MDSCs exhibit robust suppression against T-cell proliferation induced by polyclonal stimuli or alloantigens via multiple mechanisms involving nitric oxide synthase-mediated NO production and interleukin (IL)-10. Impressively, they display even stronger suppressive activity and significantly enhance ability to induce CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T-cell development compared with tumor-derived MDSCs. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of ES-MDSCs can effectively prevent alloreactive T-cell-mediated lethal graft-versus-host disease, leading to nearly 82% long-term survival among treated mice. The successful in vitro generation of MDSCs may represent a critical step toward potential clinical application of MDSCs.

Generation of Transgene-free Lung Disease-specific Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using a Single Excisable Lentiviral Stem Cell Cassette

The development of methods to achieve efficient reprogramming of human cells while avoiding the permanent presence of reprogramming transgenes represents a critical step toward the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) for clinical purposes, such as disease modeling or reconstituting therapies. Although several methods exist for generating iPSC free of reprogramming transgenes from mouse cells or neonatal normal human tissues, a sufficiently efficient reprogramming system is still needed to achieve the widespread derivation of disease-specific iPSC from humans with inherited or degenerative diseases. Here, we report the use of a humanized version of a single lentiviral "stem cell cassette" vector to accomplish efficient reprogramming of normal or diseased skin fibroblasts obtained from humans of virtually any age. Simultaneous transfer of either three or four reprogramming factors into human target cells using this single vector allows derivation of human iPSC containing a single excisable viral integration that on removal generates human iPSC free of integrated transgenes. As a proof of principle, here we apply this strategy to generate >100 lung disease-specific iPSC lines from individuals with a variety of diseases affecting the epithelial, endothelial, or interstitial compartments of the lung, including cystic fibrosis, α-1 antitrypsin deficiency-related emphysema, scleroderma, and sickle-cell disease. Moreover, we demonstrate that human iPSC generated with this approach have the ability to robustly differentiate into definitive endoderm in vitro, the developmental precursor tissue of lung epithelia.

A High-throughput Multiplexed Screening Assay for Optimizing Serum-free Differentiation Protocols of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Serum-free differentiation protocols of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) offer the ability to maximize reproducibility and to develop clinically applicable therapies. We developed a high-throughput, 96-well plate, four-color flow cytometry-based assay to optimize differentiation media cocktails and to screen a variety of conditions. We were able to differentiate hESCs to all three primary germ layers, screen for the effect of a range of activin A, BMP4, and VEGF concentrations on endoderm and mesoderm differentiation, and perform RNA-interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of a reporter gene during differentiation. Cells were seeded in suspension culture and embryoid bodies were induced to differentiate to the three primary germ layers for 6 days. Endoderm (CXCR4(+)KDR(-)), mesoderm (KDR(+)SSEA-3(-)), and ectoderm (SSEA-3(+)NCAM(+)) differentiation yields for H9 cells were 80 ± 11, 78 ± 7, and 41 ± 9%, respectively. Germ layer identities were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Activin A, BMP4, and bFGF drove differentiation, with increasing concentrations of activin A inducing higher endoderm yields and increasing BMP4 inducing higher mesoderm yields. VEGF drove lateral mesoderm differentiation. RNAi-mediated knockdown of constitutively expressed red fluorescent protein did not affect endoderm differentiation. This assay facilitates the development of serum-free protocols for hESC differentiation to target lineages and creates a platform for screening small molecules or RNAi during ESC differentiation.

High-throughput Screening Assay for Embryoid Body Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Serum-free human pluripotent stem cell media offer the potential to develop reproducible clinically applicable differentiation strategies and protocols. The vast array of possible growth factor and cytokine combinations for media formulations makes differentiation protocol optimization both labor and cost-intensive. This unit describes a 96-well plate, 4-color flow cytometry-based screening assay to optimize pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocols. We provide conditions both to differentiate human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into the three primary germ layers, ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm, and to utilize flow cytometry to distinguish between them. This assay exhibits low inter-well variability and can be utilized to efficiently screen a variety of media formulations, reducing cost, incubator space, and labor. Protocols can be adapted to a variety of differentiation stages and lineages.

Self-renewing Endodermal Progenitor Lines Generated from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

The use of human pluripotent stem cells for laboratory studies and cell-based therapies is hampered by their tumor-forming potential and limited ability to generate pure populations of differentiated cell types in vitro. To address these issues, we established endodermal progenitor (EP) cell lines from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Optimized growth conditions were established that allow near unlimited (>10(16)) EP cell self-renewal in which they display a morphology and gene expression pattern characteristic of definitive endoderm. Upon manipulation of their culture conditions in vitro or transplantation into mice, clonally derived EP cells differentiate into numerous endodermal lineages, including monohormonal glucose-responsive pancreatic β-cells, hepatocytes, and intestinal epithelia. Importantly, EP cells are nontumorigenic in vivo. Thus, EP cells represent a powerful tool to study endoderm specification and offer a potentially safe source of endodermal-derived tissues for transplantation therapies.

Trisomy 21-associated Defects in Human Primitive Hematopoiesis Revealed Through Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Patients with Down syndrome (trisomy 21, T21) have hematologic abnormalities throughout life. Newborns frequently exhibit abnormal blood counts and a clonal preleukemia. Human T21 fetal livers contain expanded erythro-megakaryocytic precursors with enhanced proliferative capacity. The impact of T21 on the earliest stages of embryonic hematopoiesis is unknown and nearly impossible to examine in human subjects. We modeled T21 yolk sac hematopoiesis using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Blood progenitor populations generated from T21 iPSCs were present at normal frequency and proliferated normally. However, their developmental potential was altered with enhanced erythropoiesis and reduced myelopoiesis, but normal megakaryocyte production. These abnormalities overlap with those of T21 fetal livers, but also reflect important differences. Our studies show that T21 confers distinct developmental stage- and species-specific hematopoietic defects. More generally, we illustrate how iPSCs can provide insight into early stages of normal and pathological human development.

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