Renee Reijo Pera

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Human breast tumors contain a breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) population with properties reminiscent of normal stem cells. We found 37 microRNAs that were differentially expressed between human BCSCs and nontumorigenic cancer cells. Three clusters, miR-200c-141, miR-200b-200a-429, and miR-183-96-182 were downregulated in human BCSCs, normal human and murine(More)
Little is known of molecular requirements for specification of human germ cells. However, it is likely that they are specified through the action of sequentially expressed genes just as in model organisms. We sought to determine whether human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, like those of mice, might be capable of forming germ cells in vitro. We compared(More)
The Deleted in AZoospermia (DAZ) genes encode potential RNA-binding proteins that are expressed exclusively in prenatal and postnatal germ cells and are strong candidates for human fertility factors. Here we report the identification of an additional member of the DAZ gene family, which we have called BOULE. With the identification of this gene, it is clear(More)
Studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) have been hindered by lack of access to affected human dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Here, we report generation of induced pluripotent stem cells that carry the p.G2019S mutation (G2019S-iPSCs) in the Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase-2 (LRRK2) gene, the most common PD-related mutation, and their differentiation into DA neurons.(More)
The International Stem Cell Initiative characterized 59 human embryonic stem cell lines from 17 laboratories worldwide. Despite diverse genotypes and different techniques used for derivation and maintenance, all lines exhibited similar expression patterns for several markers of human embryonic stem cells. They expressed the glycolipid antigens SSEA3 and(More)
The leading cause of infertility in men and women is quantitative and qualitative defects in human germ-cell (oocyte and sperm) development. Yet, it has not been possible to examine the unique developmental genetics of human germ-cell formation and differentiation owing to inaccessibility of germ cells during fetal development. Although several studies have(More)
An important risk in the clinical application of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs), is teratoma formation by residual undifferentiated cells. We raised a monoclonal antibody against hESCs, designated anti-stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-5, which binds a previously(More)
Early in development, a part of the embryo is set aside to become the germ cell lineage that will ultimately differentiate to form sperm and eggs and transmit genetic information to the next generation. Men with deletions encompassing the Y-chromosome DAZ genes have few or no germ cells but are otherwise healthy, indicating they harbor specific defects in(More)
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the potential to differentiate to diverse cell types. This ability endows hESCs with promise for the development of novel therapeutics, as well as promise for the development of a rigorous genetic system to probe human gene function. However, in spite of the impending utility of hESCs for clinical and basic(More)
The growth factors bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP4), BMP7, and BMP8b are required for specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in mice. Disruption of the genes that encode these factors leads to a severe reduction in number, or the complete absence, of PGCs. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that human BMP4 can promote PGC(More)