Joseph Collin

Newcastle University, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Are you Joseph Collin?

Claim your profile

Publications (7)40.53 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to generate human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines harboring the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter at the endogenous loci of the Cone-Rod Homeobox (CRX) gene, a key transcription factor in retinal development. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) designed to cleave in the 3' UTR of CRX were transfected into hESCs along with a donor construct containing homology to the target region, eGFP reporter, and a puromycin selection cassette. Following selection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing analysis of antibiotic resistant clones indicated targeted integration of the reporter cassette at the 3' of the CRX gene, generating a CRX-GFP fusion. Further analysis of a clone exhibiting homozygote integration of the GFP reporter was conducted suggesting genomic stability was preserved and no other copies of the targeting cassette were inserted elsewhere within the genome. This clone was selected for differentiation towards the retinal lineage. Immunocytochemistry of sections obtained from embryoid bodies and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR of GFP positive and negative subpopulations purified by fluorescence activated cell sorting during the differentiation indicated a significant correlation between GFP and endogenous CRX expression. Furthermore, GFP expression was found in photoreceptor precursors emerging during hESC differentiation, but not in the retinal pigmented epithelium, retinal ganglion cells, or neurons of the developing inner nuclear layer. Together our data demonstrate the successful application of ZFN technology to generate CRX-GFP labeled hESC lines, which can be used to study and isolate photoreceptor precursors during hESC differentiation. Stem Cells 2015.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Stem Cells
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MicroRNA (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA molecules involved in many cellular processes and shown to play a key role in somatic cell induced reprogramming. We performed an array based screening to identify candidates that are differentially expressed between dermal skin fibroblasts (DFs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We focused our investigations on mir-145 and showed that this candidate is highly expressed in DFs relative to iPSCs and significantly down-regulated during reprogramming process. Inhibition of miR-145 in DFs led to the induction of "cellular plasticity" demonstrated by: i) alteration of cell morphology associated with down-regulation of mesenchymal and up-regulation of epithelial markers; ii) up-regulation of pluripotency-associated genes including SOX2, KLF4, C-MYC; iii) down-regulation of miRNA let-7b known to inhibit reprogramming and iv) increased efficiency of reprogramming to iPSCs in the presence of reprogramming factors. Together, our results indicate a direct functional link between miR-145 and molecular pathways underlying reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Stem Cells
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We and others have previously demonstrated that retinal cells can be derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) under defined culture conditions. Whilst both cell types can give rise to retinal derivatives in the absence of inductive cues, this requires extended culture periods and gives lower overall yield. Further understanding of this innate differentiation ability, the identification of key factors that drive the differentiation process and the development of clinically compatible culture conditions to reproducibly generate functional neural retina is an important goal for clinical cell based therapies. We now report that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) can orchestrate the formation of three dimensional ocular-like structures from hESCs which, in addition to retinal pigmented epithelium and neural retina, also contain primitive lens and corneal-like structures. Inhibition of IGF-1 receptor signalling significantly reduces the formation of optic vesicle and optic cups, whilst exogenous IGF-1 treatment enhances the formation of correctly laminated retinal tissue composed of multiple retinal phenotypes that is reminiscent of the developing vertebrate retina. Most importantly, hESC-derived photoreceptors exhibit advanced maturation features such as the presence of primitive rod- and cone-like photoreceptor inner and outer segments and phototransduction-related functional responses as early as 6.5 weeks of differentiation, making these derivatives promising candidates for cell replacement studies and in vitro disease modelling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Stem Cells
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Blindness represents an increasing global problem with significant social and economic impact upon affected patients and society as a whole. In Europe, approximately one in 30 individuals experience sight loss and 75% of those are unemployed, a social burden which is very likely to increase as the population of Europe ages. Diseases affecting the retina account for approximately 26% of blindness globally and 70% of blindness in the United Kingdom. To date, there are no treatments to restore lost retinal cells and improve visual function, highlighting an urgent need for new therapeutic approaches. A pioneering breakthrough has demonstrated the ability to generate synthetic retina from pluripotent stem cells under laboratory conditions, a finding with immense relevance for basic research, in vitro disease modeling, drug discovery, and cell replacement therapies. This review summarizes the current achievements in pluripotent stem cell differentiation toward retinal cells and highlights the steps that need to be completed in order to generate human synthetic retinae with high efficiency and reproducibly from patient-specific pluripotent stem cells.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Visual Neuroscience
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a serious congenital cardiovascular malformation resulting in hypoplasia or atresia of the left ventricle, ascending aorta, and aortic and mitral valves. Diminished flow through the left side of the heart is clearly a key contributor to the condition, but any myocardial susceptibility component is as yet undefined. Using recent advances in the field of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), we have been able to generate an iPSC model of HLHS malformation and characterize the properties of cardiac myocytes (CMs) differentiated from these and control-iPSC lines. Differentiation of HLHS-iPSCs to cardiac lineages revealed changes in the expression of key cardiac markers and a lower ability to give rise to beating clusters when compared with control-iPSCs and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). HLHS-iPSC-derived CMs show a lower level of myofibrillar organization, persistence of a fetal gene expression pattern, and changes in commitment to ventricular versus atrial lineages, and they display different calcium transient patterns and electrophysiological responses to caffeine and β-adrenergic antagonists when compared with hESC- and control-iPSC-derived CMs, suggesting that alternative mechanisms to release calcium from intracellular stores such as the inositol trisphosphate receptor may exist in HLHS in addition to the ryanodine receptor thought to function in control-iPSC-derived CMs. Together our findings demonstrate that CMs derived from an HLHS patient demonstrate a number of marker expression and functional differences to hESC/control iPSC-derived CMs, thus providing some evidence that cardiomyocyte-specific factors may influence the risk of HLHS.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · STEM CELLS TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The function of the proteasome is essential for maintenance of cellular homeostasis, and in pluripotent stem cells, this has been extended to the removal of nascent proteins in a manner that restricts differentiation. In this study, we show enhanced expression of genes encoding subunits of the 20S proteasome in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) coupled to their downregulation as the cells progress into differentiation. The decrease in expression is particularly marked for the alternative catalytic subunits of the 20S proteasome variant known as the immunoproteasome indicating the possibility of a hitherto unknown function for this proteasome variant in pluripotent cells. The immunoproteasome is normally associated with antigen-presenting cells where it provides peptides of an appropriate length for antibody generation; however, our data suggest that it may be involved in maintaining the pluripotency in hESCs. Selective inhibition of two immunoproteasome subunits (PSMB9 and PSMB8) results in downregulation of cell surface and transcriptional markers that characterize the pluripotent state, subtle cell accumulation in G1 at the expense of S-phase, and upregulation of various markers characterizing the differentiated primitive and definitive lineages arising from hESC. Our data also support a different function for each of these two subunits in hESC that may be linked to their selectivity in driving proteasome-mediated degradation of cell cycle regulatory components and/or differentiation inducing factors.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Stem Cells
  • Source
    Joseph Collin · Majlinda Lako
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) encompassing human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have a wide appeal for numerous basic biology studies and for therapeutic applications because of their potential to give rise to almost any cell type in the human body and immense ability to self-renew. Much attention in the stem cell field is focused toward the study of gene-based anomalies relating to the causative affects of human disease and their correction with the potential for patient-specific therapies using gene corrected hiPSCs. Therefore, the genetic manipulation of stem cells is clearly important for the development of future medicine. Although successful targeted genetic engineering in hPSCs has been reported, these cases are surprisingly few because of inherent technical limitations with the methods used. The development of more robust and efficient means by which to achieve specific genomic modifications in hPSCs has far reaching implications for stem cell research and its applications. Recent proof-of-principle reports have shown that genetic alterations with minimal toxicity are now possible through the use of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and the inherent DNA repair mechanisms within the cell. In light of recent comprehensive reviews that highlight the applications, methodologies, and prospects of ZFNs, this article focuses on the application of ZFNs to stem cell biology, discussing the published work to date, potential problems, and future uses for this technology both experimentally and therapeutically.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Stem Cells