Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ronin An Alternate Control For Embryonic Stem Cells

Date:
June 28, 2008
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
Like the masterless samurai for whom it is named, the protein Ronin chooses an independent path, maintaining embryonic stem cells in their undifferentiated state and playing essential roles in genesis of embryos and their development, said researchers who reported on this novel cellular regulator in the journal Cell.

Like the masterless samurai for whom it is named, the protein Ronin chooses an independent path, maintaining embryonic stem cells in their undifferentiated state and playing essential roles in genesis of embryos and their development, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers who reported on this novel cellular regulator in the current issue of the journal Cell.

Three proteins -- Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog -- had previously been considered the "master" regulators of embryonic stem cells, but "Ronin could be as important as these three," said Dr. Thomas Zwaka, assistant professor in the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center at BCM. In fact, he said, if the action of Oct4, considered the most important, is reduced in embryonic stem cells, Ronin can compensate for the loss.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the potential for becoming all other kinds of cells in the body. They are also capable of self-renewal. Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog were previously thought the major method by which embryonic stem cells remained in their pristine state. Now, Ronin represents a different and parallel pathway to achieve the same result.

Ronin is also expressed in early embryonic development of mice. If it is not present, the embryos die, said Zwaka. It is also found in mature oocytes or egg cells.

"Ronin is a potent transcription repressor," he said. In fact, it prevents the action of genes that promote the differentiation of cells into the various tissues and organs of the body.

"It does it more effectively than the other three factors together," he said. It silences the differentiation genes epigenetically through specific chemical mechanisms that modify histones, the chief packaging proteins for DNA.

He and his colleagues found Ronin as a follow-up to an earlier study that showed a component of the cell death system called caspase-3 actually cleaved and reduced the amount of Nanog protein. This caused the embryonic stem cells to stop self-renewal and begin differentiation into other kinds of cells.

Zwaka and his colleagues searched for other proteins affected by the caspase and found Ronin, which was previously unknown.

The finding prompts other questions. Can Ronin be used to reprogram differentiated cells into those that more closely resemble embryonic stem cells? What is the significance of the portion of Ronin that resembles a "jumping gene" or transponson called P element transposase, usually found in the genomes of fruit flies?

Ronin is also found in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus and the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum.

"What role does it play in the brain?" asked Zwaka.

Others who took part in this research include Marion Dejosez, Joshua S. Krumenacker, Laura Jo Zitur, Marco Passeri, Li-Fang Chu and Zhou Songyang, all of BCM and James A. Thomson of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Funding for this research comes from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Gillson Longenbaugh Foundation, the Tilker Medical Research Foundation, the Diana Helis Henry Medical Research Foundation the Huffington Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Ronin An Alternate Control For Embryonic Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626125832.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2008, June 28). Ronin An Alternate Control For Embryonic Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626125832.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Ronin An Alternate Control For Embryonic Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626125832.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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