Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Stem Cell Maintenance Protein Found

Date:
December 2, 2002
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists have identified a critical, new stem cell protein – a marked advance in the elucidation of the molecular blueprint of stem cells.

Scientists have identified a critical, new stem cell protein – a marked advance in the elucidation of the molecular blueprint of stem cells.

Related Articles


Drs. Robert Tsai and Ronald McKay at the NIH have discovered a novel gene, called nucleostemin, whose encoded protein is necessary for maintaining the proliferative capacity of embryonic and adult stem cells, and possibly some types of cancer cells. Their report is published in the December 1 issue of the scientific journal Genes & Development.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent progenitor cells that can differentiate into all of the cell types of the body. Adult stem cells, in contrast, have a less versatile potential: Their differentiation is generally restricted to the cell types of a specific tissue (although recent work has expanded the previously known range of adult stem cell differentiation potential).

A key feature of both embryonic and adult stem cells is their capacity for self-renewal as well as differentiation – ensuring that a constant pool of undifferentiated stem cells always exists. Drs. Tsai and McKay have identified nucleostemin as a critical regulator of this delicate balance.

Drs. Tsai and McKay originally identified nucleostemin as a protein abundantly expressed in rat CNS (central nervous system) stem cells that is markedly down-regulated during differentiation, suggesting a possible role in stem cell maintenance. The researchers went on to show that nucleostemin is expressed in various adult and embryonic stem cell populations, as well as in some human cancer cell lines, and that its expression is consistently turned-off during the differentiation of stem cells into more specialized cell types.

Using the RNAi gene silencing method, Drs. Tsai and McKay disrupted normal nucleostemin expression patterns in rodent CNS stem cells and human osteosarcoma cancer cells. They found that the aberrant down-regulation of nucleostemin in these cells caused a decrease in cell proliferation, suggesting that the expression of nucleostemin is required for stem cell -- and some cancer cell -- proliferation.

Although the precise mechanism of nucleostemin action is not yet fully understood, the identification of a gene whose protein product specifically promotes the proliferation of stem cells and some cancer cells has important clinical implications for both the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine as well as the treatment of cancer. As Dr. Tsai explains, "The characterization of nucleostemin suggests that a unique primitive state is shared by both stem cells and cancer cell lines. The identification of common molecules shared by both stem cells and cancer cells may facilitate the discovery of self-renewing populations within a given tumor by evaluating their expression levels. Perhaps, in the future, targeting these cells will achieve a better therapeutic outcome."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "New Stem Cell Maintenance Protein Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202071741.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2002, December 2). New Stem Cell Maintenance Protein Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202071741.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "New Stem Cell Maintenance Protein Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202071741.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins