Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Master Regulatory Gene Of Epithelial Stem Cells Identified

Date:
May 8, 2007
Source:
Harvard Medical School
Summary:
The skin's ability to replace the tissue it sloughs off is controlled by a variety of genes. A new study, however, identifies a "master regulator" of this regeneration process not only for skin, but for many epithelial tissues including breast, prostate, and urogenital tract. The findings also have implications for cancers of the skin, breast and prostate, which are among the most common human malignancies.

The skin's ability to replace the tissue it sloughs off is controlled by a variety of genes. A new study from Harvard Medical School published in the May 4 issue of Cell, however, identifies a "master regulator" of this regeneration process not only for skin, but for many epithelial tissues including breast, prostate, and urogenital tract.

This master regulator of epithelial stem cells turns out to be the p63 gene, a close relative to the well-known tumor-suppressing p53 gene. Without p63, mutant mice run out of the regenerative epithelial stem cells. The findings also have implications for cancers of the skin, breast and prostate, which are among the most common human malignancies.

The role of p63 in epithelial stem cells has been controversial. Some studies found that p63 maintains a steady pool of the regenerative cells, while other studies argued that p63 has more to do with causing the cells to differentiate into particular types of tissue. The study, which was lead by Frank McKeon, PhD, professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), shows that p63's role in not in tissue differentiation but rather to impart "stemness" to the regenerative cells in these tissues.

"With the p63-lacking mice you get normal commitment and differentiation," says McKeon. "The defect is simply running out of stem cells. When you run out of stem cells, you run out of those tissues as we have seen with the mice lacking the p63 gene."

Having established that p63 was only important to the maintenance of stem cells, McKeon and his research team then used the epithelial stem cell cloning methods developed by Howard Green, MD, the George Higginson professor of cell biology at HMS, to show that p63's key function was to provide the enhanced potential of stem cells to divide.

"The fact that p63 is essential for these epithelial stem cells, while other master regulators have been identified for blood stem cells and spermatocyte stem cells, suggests a fundamental requirement for tissue specificity of these regulators that we don't understand," says McKeon. "Dissecting the genetic programs controlled by these regulators will tell us much about how stem cells function and how they go awry in cancer."

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard Medical School. "Master Regulatory Gene Of Epithelial Stem Cells Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503125719.htm>.
Harvard Medical School. (2007, May 8). Master Regulatory Gene Of Epithelial Stem Cells Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503125719.htm
Harvard Medical School. "Master Regulatory Gene Of Epithelial Stem Cells Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503125719.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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:
from the past week

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