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PubMed Central Canada to be taken offline in February 2018

On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  Biochemistry of epidermal stem cells☆ 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2012;1830(2):2427-2434.
The epidermis is an important protective barrier that is essential for maintenance of life. Maintaining this barrier requires continuous cell proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, these processes must be balanced to produce a normal epidermis. The stem cells of the epidermis reside in specific locations in the basal epidermis, hair follicle and sebaceous glands and these cells are responsible for replenishment of this tissue.
Scope of review
A great deal of effort has gone into identifying protein epitopes that mark stem cells, in identifying stem cell niche locations, and in understanding how stem cell populations are related. We discuss these studies as they apply to understanding normal epidermal homeostasis and skin cancer.
Major conclusions
An assortment of stem cell markers have been identified that permit assignment of stem cells to specific regions of the epidermis, and progress has been made in understanding the role of these cells in normal epidermal homeostasis and in conditions of tissue stress. A key finding is the multiple stem cell populations exist in epidermis that give rise to different structures, and that multiple stem cell types may contribute to repair in damaged epidermis.
General significance
Understanding epidermal stem cell biology is likely to lead to important therapies for treating skin diseases and cancer, and will also contribute to our understanding of stem cells in other systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells.
PMCID: PMC4038073  PMID: 22820019
Stem cell Hair follicle; Interfollicular stem cell; Epidermis; Keratinocyte
2.  Identification of a Population of Epidermal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells with Enhanced Potential for Tumor Formation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84324.
Epidermal squamous cell carcinoma is among the most common cancers in humans. These tumors are comprised of phenotypically diverse populations of cells that display varying potential for proliferation and differentiation. An important goal is identifying cells from this population that drive tumor formation. To enrich for tumor-forming cells, cancer cells were grown as spheroids in non-attached conditions. We show that spheroid-selected cells form faster growing and larger tumors in immune-compromised mice as compared to non-selected cells. Moreover, spheroid-selected cells gave rise to tumors following injection of as few as one hundred cells, suggesting these cells have enhanced tumor-forming potential. Cells isolated from spheroid-selected tumors retain an enhanced ability to grow as spheroids when grown in non-attached culture conditions. Thus, these tumor-forming cells retain their phenotype following in vivo passage as tumors. Detailed analysis reveals that spheroid-selected cultures are highly enriched for expression of epidermal stem cell and embryonic stem cell markers, including aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, keratin 15, CD200, keratin 19, Oct4, Bmi-1, Ezh2 and trimethylated histone H3. These studies indicate that a subpopulation of cells that possess stem cell-like properties and express stem cell markers can be derived from human epidermal cancer cells and that these cells display enhanced ability to drive tumor formation.
PMCID: PMC3869846  PMID: 24376802
3.  Transient expression of OCT4 is sufficient to allow human keratinocytes to change their differentiation pathway 
Gene therapy  2010;18(3):294-303.
Here, we describe a simple system in which human keratinocytes can be redirected to an alternative differentiation pathway. We transiently transfected freshly isolated human skin keratinocytes with the single transcription factor OCT4. Within two days these cells displayed expression of endogenous embryonic genes and showed reduced genomic methylation. More importantly, these cells could be specifically converted into neuronal and contractile mesenchymal cell types. Redirected differentiation was confirmed by expression of neuronal and mesenchymal cell mRNA and protein, and via a functional assay in which the newly differentiated mesenchymal cells contracted collagen gels as efficiently as authentic myofibroblasts. Thus, to generate patient-specific cells for therapeutic purposes, it may not be necessary to completely reprogram somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells before altering their differentiation and grafting them into new tissues.
PMCID: PMC3032017  PMID: 20981110
keratinocyte; tissue repair; epidermal cells; stem cells; reprogramming

Results 1-3 (3)