Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein Key To Control, Growth Of Blood Cells

Date:
August 14, 2008
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
New research sheds light on the biological events by which stem cells in the bone marrow develop into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood. The findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants and may lead to better treatments for life-threatening blood diseases.

New research sheds light on the biological events by which stem cells in the bone marrow develop into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood. The findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants and may lead to better treatments for life-threatening blood diseases.

"As we better understand the biological pathways that regulate the growth of stem cells, we may identify new approaches for treating blood disorders," said study leader Wei Tong, Ph.D., a hematology researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her study appeared online July 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) develop into all types of blood cells: red blood cells, platelets and immune cells. HSCs, like other stem cells, have the ability to self-renew: each can give rise to more mature, developed cells with more specific functions, as well as a new stem cell. (Everyone carries HSCs in their bone marrow, unlike embryonic stem cells, which exist only in embryos.)

In her study, conducted in mice, Tong focused on a protein called Lnk that helps control HSC expansion. When a growth factor in the blood called thrombopoietin (TPO) acts on its cell receptor, it triggers signals along a pathway that includes another protein, JAK2. JAK2, in turn, causes stem cells to increase their numbers.

Tong's group and others previously found that Lnk is a negative regulator for HSCs, acting as a brake on stem cell expansion. In the current study, they found that mice genetically engineered to lack the Lnk protein had 10 times the normal amount of HSCs in their bone marrow. Without Lnk to directly interact with JAK2 and inhibit its activity, TPO made stem cell production go into overdrive.

However, there was an unexpected potential benefit-- the expanded population of stem cells had a higher proportion of quiescent cells, those in a resting stage in the cell cycle. Quiescent stem cells, said Tong, are more likely to succeed in a recipient when they are used in bone marrow transplantation.

Although much research remains to be done, added Tong, other researchers might build on this knowledge to manipulate HSCs for more effective bone marrow transplants for cancer patients after high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It might also improve treatments for particular blood disorders. For example, aplastic anemia, severe combined immunodeficiency disorders and hemoglobin disorders involve deficiencies of specific immune cells in the blood. Using a drug to inhibit Lnk could potentially produce larger numbers of HSCs for a successful bone marrow transplant.

Myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs), on the other hand, entail the opposite danger—a sometimes-fatal overproduction of certain bone marrow cells. Clinicians might use Tong's research on Lnk and its associated signaling pathway to curtail stem cell production and control MPDs.

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, supported Tong's research, with additional grant funding from the McCabe Foundation and the Institutional Development Fund at Children's Hospital. Tong's co-authors were Alexey Bersenev, Chao Wu, and Joanna Balcerek, all of the Division of Hematology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Protein Key To Control, Growth Of Blood Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114231.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2008, August 14). Protein Key To Control, Growth Of Blood Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114231.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Protein Key To Control, Growth Of Blood Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114231.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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