Publications by authors named "Neil J Harrison"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Thermal expansion coefficients in Invar processed by selective laser melting.

J Mater Sci 2017 11;52(17):10517-10525. Epub 2017 May 11.

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

This work investigates whether the unique low thermal expansion property of Invar (64Fe-36Ni) is retained after processing using the additive manufacturing process selective laser melting (SLM). Using this process, near-full-density components (99.96%) were formed by melting thin (20 μm) layers of powdered Invar (15-45 μm particle size). The mechanical properties of SLM Invar were comparable to that of cold-drawn Invar36; however, the thermal coefficient of expansion was observed to be a lower value and negative up until 100 °C. This negative value was attributed to residual stress in the as-deposited parts. The low thermal expansion property of Invar was still maintained when processed using a non-conventional layer-based additive manufacturing technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10853-017-1169-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979593PMC
May 2017

Culture adaptation alters transcriptional hierarchies among single human embryonic stem cells reflecting altered patterns of differentiation.

PLoS One 2015 14;10(4):e0123467. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

Centre for Stem Cell Biology, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

We have used single cell transcriptome analysis to re-examine the substates of early passage, karyotypically Normal, and late passage, karyotypically Abnormal ('Culture Adapted') human embryonic stem cells characterized by differential expression of the cell surface marker antigen, SSEA3. The results confirmed that culture adaptation is associated with alterations to the dynamics of the SSEA3(+) and SSEA3(-) substates of these cells, with SSEA3(-) Adapted cells remaining within the stem cell compartment whereas the SSEA3(-) Normal cells appear to have differentiated. However, the single cell data reveal that these substates are characterized by further heterogeneity that changes on culture adaptation. Notably the Adapted population includes cells with a transcriptome substate suggestive of a shift to a more naïve-like phenotype in contrast to the cells of the Normal population. Further, a subset of the Normal SSEA3(+) cells expresses genes typical of endoderm differentiation, despite also expressing the undifferentiated stem cell genes, POU5F1 (OCT4) and NANOG, whereas such apparently lineage-primed cells are absent from the Adapted population. These results suggest that the selective growth advantage gained by genetically variant, culture adapted human embryonic stem cells may derive in part from a changed substate structure that influences their propensity for differentiation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123467PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397016PMC
April 2016

Rediscovering pluripotency: from teratocarcinomas to embryonic stem cells. Cardiff, 10-12 October 2011.

Int J Dev Biol 2012 ;56(4):197-206

Centre for Stem Cell Biology and the Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, UK.

The pluripotent potential of embryonic stem cells has often seen them touted as the future of regenerative medicine. The road to any therapeutic success however, must stretch back to teratocarcinoma, the tumour from which pluripotent stem cells (embryonal carcinoma cells) were first derived. This 2011 meeting in Cardiff acted as a historical perspective from which the impact of embryonal carcinoma cell research on the present pluripotent stem cell landscape could be observed, with many of the early luminaries in this field still very active. The meeting addressed the genetic and epigenetic make-up of pluripotent stem cells, the mechanisms which control their fate, and their relationship to the early embryo proper. With each speaker tasked with revisiting previous questions, this meeting demonstrated how far has been travelled, yet how far is left to go.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/ijdb.123503ibDOI Listing
September 2012

Multiple Tyrosine Residues Contribute to GABA Binding in the GABA(C) Receptor Binding Pocket.

ACS Chem Neurosci 2012 Mar 15;3(3):186-192. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

The ligand binding site of Cys-loop receptors is dominated by aromatic amino acids. In GABA(C) receptors, these are predominantly tyrosine residues, with a number of other aromatic residues located in or close to the binding pocket. Here we examine the roles of these residues using substitution with both natural and unnatural amino acids followed by functional characterization. Tyr198 (loop B) has previously been shown to form a cation-π interaction with GABA; the current data indicate that none of the other aromatic residues form such an interaction, although the data indicate that both Tyr102 and Phe138 may contribute to stabilization of the positively charged amine of GABA. Tyr247 (loop C) was very sensitive to substitution and, combined with data from a model of the receptor, suggest a π-π interaction with Tyr241 (loop C); here again functional data show aromaticity is important. In addition the hydroxyl group of Tyr241 is important, supporting the presence of a hydrogen bond with Arg104 suggested by the model. At position Tyr102 (loop D) size and aromaticity are important; this residue may play a role in receptor gating and/or ligand binding. The data also suggest that Tyr167, Tyr200, and Tyr208 have a structural role while Tyr106, Trp246, and Tyr251 are not critical. Comparison of the agonist binding site "aromatic box" across the superfamily of Cys-loop receptors reveals some interesting parallels and divergences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cn200103nDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309607PMC
March 2012

Genetic instability in neural stem cells: an inconvenient truth?

Authors:
Neil J Harrison

J Clin Invest 2012 Feb 24;122(2):484-6. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

The evolutionary struggles from which mutants arise have been documented in almost every living system. In this issue of the JCI, Varela and colleagues extend this list of systems to include neural derivatives of human embryonic stem cells, which they show exhibit a repeated gain of material from chromosome 1q. Although this raises safety issues for therapeutic use of such cells, the frequent observation of a particular change may direct screening strategies for detection and removal of these unwanted cellular variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI62002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266804PMC
February 2012

Modeling the evolution of culture-adapted human embryonic stem cells.

Stem Cell Res 2010 Jan 16;4(1):50-6. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK.

The long-term culture of human embryonic stem (ES) cells is inevitably subject to evolution, since any mutant that arises with a growth advantage will be selectively amplified. However, the evolutionary influences of population size, mutation rate, and selection pressure are frequently overlooked. We have constructed a Monte Carlo simulation model to predict how changes in these factors can influence the appearance and spread of mutant ES cells, and verified its applicability by comparison with in vitro data. This simulation provides an estimate for the expected rate of generation of culture-adapted ES cells under different assumptions for the key parameters. In particular, it highlights the effect of population size, suggesting that the maintenance of cells in small populations reduces the likelihood that abnormal cultures will develop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scr.2009.09.001DOI Listing
January 2010

Analysis of gene expression profiles of microdissected cell populations indicates that testicular carcinoma in situ is an arrested gonocyte.

Cancer Res 2009 Jun 2;69(12):5241-50. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Testicular germ cell cancers in young adult men derive from a precursor lesion called carcinoma in situ (CIS) of the testis. CIS cells were suggested to arise from primordial germ cells or gonocytes. However, direct studies on purified samples of CIS cells are lacking. To overcome this problem, we performed laser microdissection of CIS cells. Highly enriched cell populations were obtained and subjected to gene expression analysis. The expression profile of CIS cells was compared with microdissected gonocytes, oogonia, and cultured embryonic stem cells with and without genomic aberrations. Three samples of each tissue type were used for the analyses. Unique expression patterns for these developmentally very related cell types revealed that CIS cells were very similar to gonocytes because only five genes distinguished these two cell types. We did not find indications that CIS was derived from a meiotic cell, and the similarity to embryonic stem cells was modest compared with gonocytes. Thus, we provide new evidence that the molecular phenotype of CIS cells is similar to that of gonocytes. Our data are in line with the idea that CIS cells may be gonocytes that survived in the postnatal testis. We speculate that disturbed development of somatic cells in the fetal testis may play a role in allowing undifferentiated cells to survive in the postnatal testes. The further development of CIS into invasive germ cell tumors may depend on signals from their postpubertal niche of somatic cells, including hormones and growth factors from Leydig and Sertoli cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2869030PMC
June 2009

CD30 expression reveals that culture adaptation of human embryonic stem cells can occur through differing routes.

Stem Cells 2009 May;27(5):1057-65

Centre for Stem Cell Biology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, UK.

Human embryonic stem cells undergo adaptive changes that can increase their growth capacity upon prolonged culture in vitro. This is frequently associated with nonrandom karyotypic changes, commonly involving amplification of genetic material from chromosomes 12, 17, and X. A recent study suggested that the karyotypically abnormal cells can be identified by their expression of CD30, which confers resistance to apoptosis. We have now investigated CD30 expression and apoptosis in karyotypically normal and abnormal sublines of the human ES cell line, H7, but our results were contrary to those previously observed. In this cell line, CD30 expression did not segregate the normal and abnormal cells, and abnormal cells were not protected from apoptosis. These data suggest that culture adaptation can occur through a variety of mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.41DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2860760PMC
May 2009

Cancer genes hypermethylated in human embryonic stem cells.

PLoS One 2008 Sep 29;3(9):e3294. Epub 2008 Sep 29.

Cancer Epigenetics Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, CNIO, Madrid, Spain.

Developmental genes are silenced in embryonic stem cells by a bivalent histone-based chromatin mark. It has been proposed that this mark also confers a predisposition to aberrant DNA promoter hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in cancer. We report here that silencing of a significant proportion of these TSGs in human embryonic and adult stem cells is associated with promoter DNA hypermethylation. Our results indicate a role for DNA methylation in the control of gene expression in human stem cells and suggest that, for genes repressed by promoter hypermethylation in stem cells in vivo, the aberrant process in cancer could be understood as a defect in establishing an unmethylated promoter during differentiation, rather than as an anomalous process of de novo hypermethylation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0003294PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2546447PMC
September 2008

Culture adaptation of embryonic stem cells echoes germ cell malignancy.

Int J Androl 2007 Aug 7;30(4):275-81; discussion 281. Epub 2007 May 7.

Centre for Stem Cell Biology and the Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Teratocarcinomas are a subset of tumours that result from the neoplastic transformation of primordial germ cells. Such germ cell tumours (GCT) are histologically heterogeneous, reflecting a capacity for differentiation (pluripotency) of their embryonal carcinoma (EC) stem cells. However, malignant evolution of these tumours may ultimately correlate with a decrease in pluripotency, because this would tend to increase the propensity of EC cells for self-renewal. Human embryonic stem (ES) cells, derived from early blastocysts, closely resemble EC cells and, on prolonged culture in vitro, acquire progressive genetic changes that show striking similarity to those seen in GCT (e.g. gain of material from chromosome 12). In parallel, these abnormal ES cells show enhanced population growth rates and plating efficiencies, indicative of their adaptation to culture conditions. Understanding the mechanisms that drive such culture adaptation of ES cells may also provide insights into the development and progression of GCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2605.2007.00762.xDOI Listing
August 2007

Nucleus accumbens NMDA receptor subunit expression and function is enhanced in morphine-dependent rats.

Eur J Pharmacol 2007 May 30;562(3):191-7. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfiled, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK.

We have previously shown, using radioligand binding studies, that N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) NR1 and NR2A receptor subunits density was decreased in the forebrain of morphine-dependent rats. We have now determined if morphine-dependent rats display regional differences in NMDA receptor expression and whether such changes are functionally relevant. In morphine-dependent rats, the expression of NR1 and NR2A subunits protein, as determined by Western blotting with NMDA receptor subunit antibodies, were decreased in frontal cortex and hippocampus but significantly increased in the nucleus accumbens. The expression of the NR2B subunit was unchanged in all regions examined. In separate groups of morphine-dependent rats, MK-801-induced hyperactivity (thought to be mediated via modulation of nucleus accumbens dopamine release) was significantly enhanced in morphine-dependent animals. Similarly, the MK-801-induced increase of dopamine metabolism was significantly increased in the nucleus accumbens of morphine-dependent animals as compared to sham controls. Results provide both biochemical and behavioural evidence to suggest that NMDA receptor function in the nucleus accumbens, at least with respect to an interaction with the limbic dopamine system, is markedly enhanced in morphine-dependent rats. This increase in function may be associated with an enhanced expression of NMDA receptors, particularly those in the nucleus accumbens containing the NR2A subunit. Taken together, these data support several studies in the literature indicating that NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens are involved in the process of opiate dependence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.01.027DOI Listing
May 2007

Adaptation to culture of human embryonic stem cells and oncogenesis in vivo.

Nat Biotechnol 2007 Feb;25(2):207-15

Sheffield Regional Cytogenetics Service, Sheffield Children's Trust, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK.

The application of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) to provide differentiated cells for regenerative medicine will require the continuous maintenance of the undifferentiated stem cells for long periods in culture. However, chromosomal stability during extended passaging cannot be guaranteed, as recent cytogenetic studies of HESCs have shown karyotypic aberrations. The observed karyotypic aberrations probably reflect the progressive adaptation of self-renewing cells to their culture conditions. Genetic change that increases the capacity of cells to proliferate has obvious parallels with malignant transformation, and we propose that the changes observed in HESCs in culture reflect tumorigenic events that occur in vivo, particularly in testicular germ cell tumors. Further supporting a link between culture adaptation and malignancy, we have observed the formation of a chromosomal homogeneous staining region in one HESC line, a genetic feature almost a hallmark of cancer cells. Identifying the genes critical for culture adaptation may thus reveal key players for both stem cell maintenance in vitro and germ cell tumorigenesis in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1285DOI Listing
February 2007

Locating the carboxylate group of GABA in the homomeric rho GABA(A) receptor ligand-binding pocket.

J Biol Chem 2006 Aug 5;281(34):24455-61. Epub 2006 Jun 5.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QW, United Kingdom.

gamma-Aminobutyric acid, type A (GABA(A)) receptors, of which the GABA(C) receptor family is a subgroup, are members of the Cys loop family of neurotransmitter receptors. Homology modeling of the extracellular domain of these proteins has revealed many molecular details, but it is not yet clear how GABA is orientated in the binding pocket. Here we have examined the role of arginine residues that the homology model locates in or close to the binding site of the GABA(C) receptor (Arg-104, Arg-170, Arg-158, and Arg-249) using mutagenesis and functional studies. The data suggest that Arg-158 is critical for GABA binding and/or function; substitution with Lys, Ala, or Glu resulted in nonfunctional receptors, and modeling placed the carboxylate of GABA within 3A of this residue. Substitution of Arg-104 with Ala or Glu resulted in >10,000-fold increases in EC(50) values compared with wild type receptors, and modeling indicated a role of this residue both in binding GABA and in the structure of the binding pocket. Substitution of Arg-170 with Asp or Ala yielded nonfunctional receptors, whereas Lys caused an approximately 10-fold increase in EC(50). Arg-249 was substituted with Ala, Glu, or Asp with relatively small ( approximately 4-30-fold) changes in EC(50). These and data from other residues that the model suggested could interact with GABA (His-105, Ser-168, and Ser-243) support a location for GABA in the binding site with its carboxylate pincered between Arg-158 and Arg-104, with Arg-104, Arg-170, and Arg-249 contributing to the structure of the binding pocket through salt bridges and/or hydrogen bonds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M601775200DOI Listing
August 2006

Molecular modeling of the GABA(C) receptor ligand-binding domain.

J Mol Model 2006 Feb 26;12(3):317-24. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QW, UK.

We have constructed a molecular model of the ligand-binding domain of the GABA(C) receptor, which is a member of the Cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel family. The extracellular domains of these receptors share similar sequence homology (20%) with Limnaea acetylcholine-binding protein for which an X-ray crystal structure is available. We used this structure as a template for homology modeling of the GABA(C) receptor extracellular domain using FUGUE and MODELLER software. FlexX was then used to dock GABA into the receptor ligand-binding site, resulting in three alternative energetically favorable orientations. Residues located no more than 5 A from the docked GABA were identified for each model; of these, three were found to be common to all models with 14 others present only in certain models. Using data from experimental studies, we propose that the most likely orientation of GABA is with its amine close to Y198, and its carboxylate close to R104. These studies have therefore provided a model of the ligand-binding domain, which will be useful for both GABA(C) and GABA(A) receptor studies, and have also yielded an experimentally testable hypothesis of the location of GABA in the binding pocket. [Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00894-005-0034-6DOI Listing
February 2006

A cation-pi binding interaction with a tyrosine in the binding site of the GABAC receptor.

Chem Biol 2005 Sep;12(9):993-7

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK.

GABA(C) (rho) receptors are members of the Cys-loop superfamily of neurotransmitter receptors, which includes nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh), 5-HT(3), and glycine receptors. As in other members of this family, the agonist binding site of GABA(C) receptors is rich in aromatic amino acids, but while other receptors bind agonist through a cation-pi interaction to a tryptophan, the GABA(C) binding site has tyrosine at the aligning positions. Incorporating a series of tyrosine derivatives at position 198 using unnatural amino acid mutagenesis reveals a clear correlation between the cation-pi binding ability of the side chain and EC(50) for receptor activation, thus demonstrating a cation-pi interaction between a tyrosine side chain and a neurotransmitter. Comparisons among four homologous receptors show variations in cation-pi binding energies that reflect the nature of the cationic center of the agonist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.06.012DOI Listing
September 2005