News Column

Studies from University of Washington Update Current Data on Stem Cells (HLA engineering of human pluripotent stem cells)

July 16, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Research findings on Stem Cell Research are discussed in a new report. According to news originating from Seattle, Washington, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The clinical use of human pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives is limited by the rejection of transplanted cells due to differences in their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. This has led to the proposed use of histocompatible, patient-specific stem cells; however, the preparation of many different stem cell lines for clinical use is a daunting task."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Washington, "Here, we develop two distinct genetic engineering approaches that address this problem. First, we use a combination of gene targeting and mitotic recombination to derive HLA-homozygous embryonic stem cell (ESC) subclones from an HLA-heterozygous parental line. A small bank of HLA-homozygous stem cells with common haplotypes would match a significant proportion of the population. Second, we derive HLA class I-negative cells by targeted disruption of both alleles of the Beta-2 Microglobulin (B2M) gene in ESCs. Mixed leukocyte reactions and peptide-specific HLA-restricted CD8(+) T cell responses were reduced in class I-negative cells that had undergone differentiation in embryoid bodies. These B2M(-/-) ESCs could act as universal donor cells in applications where the transplanted cells do not express HLA class II genes."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Both approaches used adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for efficient gene targeting in the absence of potentially genotoxic nucleases, and produced pluripotent, transgene-free cell lines."

For more information on this research see: HLA engineering of human pluripotent stem cells. Molecular Therapy, 2013;21(6):1232-41. (Elsevier -; Molecular Therapy -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from L. Riolobos, Dept. of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, United States. Additional authors for this research include R.K. Hirata, C.J. Turtle, P.R. Wang, G.G. Gornalusse, M. Zavajlevski, S.R. Riddell and D.W Russell (see also Stem Cell Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Seattle, Washington, Immunology, Leukocytes, Engineering, United States, Immune System, Stem Cell Research, North and Central America.

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Source: Biotech Week

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