Brandon Nelson

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California, United States

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Publications (9)31.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Proper maintenance of stem cells is essential for successful utilization of ESCs/iPSCs as tools in developmental and drug discovery studies and in regenerative medicine. Standardization is critical for all future applications of stem cells and necessary to fully understand their potential. This study reports a novel approach for the efficient, consistent expansion of human ESCs and iPSCs using laser sectioning, instead of mechanical devices or enzymes, to divide cultures into defined size clumps for propagation. Laser-mediated propagation maintained the pluripotency, quality, and genetic stability of ESCs/iPSCs and led to enhanced differentiation potential. This approach removes the variability associated with ESC/iPSC propagation, significantly reduces the expertise, labor, and time associated with manual passaging techniques and provides the basis for scalable delivery of standardized ESC/iPSC lines. Adoption of standardized protocols would allow researchers to understand the role of genetics, environment, and/or procedural effects on stem cells and would ensure reproducible production of stem cell cultures for use in clinical/therapeutic applications.
    Stem cells international. 01/2012; 2012:926463.
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    ABSTRACT: THREE MODES FOR CRYOPRESERVATION (CP) OF HUMAN IPSC CELLS HAVE BEEN COMPARED: STD: standard CP of small clumps with 10% of CPA in cryovials, ACC: dissociation of the cells with Accutase and freezing in cryovials, and PLT: programmed freezing of adherent cells in plastic multiwell dishes in a programmable freezer using one- and multistep cooling protocols. Four CPAs were tesetd: dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG), propylene glycol (PG), and glycerol (GLY). The cells in ACC and PLT were frozen and recovered after thawing in the presence of a ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 (RI). EG was less toxic w/o CP cryopreservation than DMSO and allowed much better maintenance of pluripotency after CP than PG or GLY. The cells were cryopreserved very efficiently as adherent cultures (+RI) in plates (5-6-fold higher than STD) using EG and a 6-step freezing protocol. Recovery under these conditions is comparable or even higher than ACC+RI. Conclusions. Maintenance of cell-substratum adherence is a favorable environment that mitigates freezing and thawing stresses (ComfortFreeze(®) concept developed by CELLTRONIX). CP of cells directly in plates in ready-to-go after thawing format for HT/HC screening can be beneficial in many SC-related scientific and commercial applications such as drug discovery and toxicity tests.
    Stem Cells International. 01/2011; 981606:8 pgs.
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    Igor. I. Katkov, Brandon Nelson, Mark Mercola
    Cryobiology 01/2010; 61(3):375-376. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    I. I. Katkov, B. Nelson, M. Mercola
    Reproductive biomedicine online 01/2010; 20:S69. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various types of cardiomyocytes undergo changes in automaticity and electrical properties during fetal heart development. Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs), like fetal cardiomyocytes, are electrophysiologically immature and exhibit automaticity. We used hESC-CMs to investigate developmental changes in mechanisms of automaticity and to determine whether electrophysiological maturation is driven by an intrinsic developmental clock and/or is regulated by interactions with non-cardiomyocytes in embryoid bodies (EBs). We isolated pure populations of hESC-CMs from EBs by lentivirus-engineered Puromycin resistance at various stages of differentiation. Using pharmacological agents, calcium (Ca(2+)) imaging, and intracellular recording techniques, we found that intracellular Ca(2+)-cycling mechanisms developed early and contributed to dominant automaticity throughout hESC-CM differentiation. Sarcolemmal ion channels evolved later upon further differentiation within EBs and played an increasing role in controlling automaticity and electrophysiological properties of hESC-CMs. In contrast to the development of intracellular Ca(2+)-handling proteins, ion channel development and electrophysiological maturation of hESC-CMs did not occur when hESC-CMs were isolated from EBs early and maintained in culture without further interaction with non-cardiomyocytes. Adding back non-cardiomyocytes to early-isolated hESC-CMs rescued the arrest of electrophysiological maturation, indicating that non-cardiomyocytes in EBs drive electrophysiological maturation of early hESC-CMs. Non-cardiomyocytes in EBs contain most cell types present in the embryonic heart that are known to influence early cardiac development. Our study is the first to demonstrate that non-cardiomyocytes influence electrophysiological maturation of early hESC-CMs in cultures. Defining the nature of these extrinsic signals will aid in the directed maturation of immature hESC-CMs to mitigate arrhythmogenic risks of cell-based therapies.
    Stem cells and development 12/2009; 19(6):783-95. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of alternative splicing in self-renewal, pluripotency and tissue lineage specification of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is largely unknown. To better define these regulatory cues, we modified the H9 hESC line to allow selection of pluripotent hESCs by neomycin resistance and cardiac progenitors by puromycin resistance. Exon-level microarray expression data from undifferentiated hESCs and cardiac and neural precursors were used to identify splice isoforms with cardiac-restricted or common cardiac/neural differentiation expression patterns. Splice events for these groups corresponded to the pathways of cytoskeletal remodeling, RNA splicing, muscle specification, and cell cycle checkpoint control as well as genes with serine/threonine kinase and helicase activity. Using a new program named AltAnalyze (http://www.AltAnalyze.org), we identified novel changes in protein domain and microRNA binding site architecture that were predicted to affect protein function and expression. These included an enrichment of splice isoforms that oppose cell-cycle arrest in hESCs and that promote calcium signaling and cardiac development in cardiac precursors. By combining genome-wide predictions of alternative splicing with new functional annotations, our data suggest potential mechanisms that may influence lineage commitment and hESC maintenance at the level of specific splice isoforms and microRNA regulation.
    PLoS Computational Biology 11/2009; 5(11):e1000553. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental, physiological and tissue engineering studies critical to the development of successful myocardial regeneration therapies require new ways to effectively visualize and isolate large numbers of fluorescently labeled, functional cardiomyocytes. Here we describe methods for the clonal expansion of engineered hESCs and make available a suite of lentiviral vectors for that combine Blasticidin, Neomycin and Puromycin resistance based drug selection of pure populations of stem cells and cardiomyocytes with ubiquitous or lineage-specific promoters that direct expression of fluorescent proteins to visualize and track cardiomyocytes and their progenitors. The phospho-glycerate kinase (PGK) promoter was used to ubiquitously direct expression of histone-2B fused eGFP and mCherry proteins to the nucleus to monitor DNA content and enable tracking of cell migration and lineage. Vectors with T/Brachyury and alpha-myosin heavy chain (alphaMHC) promoters targeted fluorescent or drug-resistance proteins to early mesoderm and cardiomyocytes. The drug selection protocol yielded 96% pure cardiomyocytes that could be cultured for over 4 months. Puromycin-selected cardiomyocytes exhibited a gene expression profile similar to that of adult human cardiomyocytes and generated force and action potentials consistent with normal fetal cardiomyocytes, documenting these parameters in hESC-derived cardiomyocytes and validating that the selected cells retained normal differentiation and function. The protocols, vectors and gene expression data comprise tools to enhance cardiomyocyte production for large-scale applications.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(4):e5046. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inability of heart muscle to regenerate by replication of existing cardiomyocytes has engendered considerable interest in identifying developmental or other stimuli capable of sustaining the proliferative capacity of immature cardiomyocytes or stimulating division of postmitotic cardiomyocytes. Here, we demonstrate that reactivation of Notch signaling causes embryonic stem cell-derived and neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes to enter the cell cycle. The proliferative response of neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes declines as they mature, such that late activation of Notch triggers the DNA damage checkpoint and G2/M interphase arrest. Notch induces recombination signal-binding protein 1 for Jkappa (RBP-Jkappa)-dependent expression of cyclin D1 but, unlike other inducers, also shifts its subcellular distribution from the cytosol to the nucleus. Nuclear localization of cyclin D1 is independent of RBP-Jkappa. Thus, the influence of Notch on nucleocytoplasmic localization of cyclin D1 is an unanticipated property of the Notch intracellular domain that is likely to regulate the cell cycle in multiple contexts, including tumorigenesis as well as cardiogenesis.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2008; 183(1):129-41. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RNA expression data reveals that human embryonic stem (hES) cells differ from mouse ES (mES) cells in the expression of RNAs for keratin intermediate filament proteins. These differences were confirmed at the cellular and protein level and may reflect a fundamental difference in the epithelial nature of embryonic stem cells derived from mouse and human blastocysts. Mouse ES cells express very low levels of the simple epithelial keratins K8, K18 and K19. By contrast hES cells express moderate levels of the RNAs for these intermediate filament proteins as do mouse stem cells derived from the mouse epiblast. Expression of K8 and K18 RNAs are correlated with increased c-Jun RNA expression in both mouse and human ES cell cultures. However, decreasing K8 and K18 expression associated with differentiation to neuronal progenitor cells is correlated with increasing expression of the Snai2 (Slug) transcriptional repression and not decreased Jun expression. Increasing K7 expression is correlated with increased CDX2 and decreased Oct4 RNA expression associated with the formation of trophoblast derivatives by hES cells. Our study supports the view that hES cells are more similar to mouse epiblast cells than mouse ES cells and is consistent with the epithelial nature of hES cells. Keratin intermediate filament expression in hES cells may modulate sensitivity to death receptor mediated apoptosis and stress.
    PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(10):e3451. · 3.53 Impact Factor