Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Sister' Factors Promote Survival Of Blood-system Stem Cells

Date:
February 6, 2009
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
Stem cells of any kind are defined by their eternal nature, reproducing themselves and providing a pool of cells from which more differentiated tissues arise. Now researchers demonstrate that two specific "sister" genes that control transcription play often overlapping roles in maintaining this pool of hematopoietic or blood cell-forming stem cells.

Stem cells of any kind are defined by their eternal nature, reproducing themselves and providing a pool of cells from which more differentiated tissues arise.

Now a group of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in collaboration with researchers in Australia and the United Kingdom, demonstrate that two specific "sister" genes that control transcription play often overlapping roles in maintaining this pool of hematopoietic or blood cell-forming stem cells.

In a report in the current issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, the scientists show that genes for two transcription factors -- the stem cell leukemia gene (Scl) and the lymphoblastic leukemia gene 1 (Lyl1) – play overlapping or redundant roles in maintaining this pool of hematopoietic (blood-forming cells) stem cells. These are so-called "adult" stem cells because they can differentiate only into tissues of the blood system.

"Both genes are involved in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia," said Dr. Margaret Goodell, director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center of Baylor College of Medicine and senior author of the report that appears in the current issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell. "No one knew what role Lyl1 played in hematopoiesis (the formation of blood and related cells). The two of them have a functional redundancy. If one is missing, the cell might be a little 'sick,' but it survives. If both are missing, the cells die pretty quickly."

"Scl has been well studied and is a paradigm for hematopoiesis," she said. "Lyl1 was a lost sister. Only recently have a few groups studied it."

Previous studies had shown that when animals lacked the gene Scl in the embryonic stage, they did not make progenitor cells intrinsic to the formation of the blood cells and had defects in the blood vessel system. When the gene Scl is turned off in adult animals, blood cells are not repopulated in the short term but they do come back over the long term, the researchers noted.

George Souroullas, a graduate student in Goodell's laboratory at BCM and first author of the paper said, "Up to this point, it was believed that Scl was dispensable for maintaining adult hematopoietic stem cell function after development. Our study however, shows that not only is it not dispensable, but it collaborates with Lyl1, and both necessary for cell survival."

When blood-forming stem cells lack Scl and have only one copy of the Lyl1 gene, they can still be used successfully in a stem cell transplant, enabling animals to continue to make blood cells in the long-term. However, if these stem cells lack Lyl1 and Scl, they die rapidly.

This suggests that Scl and Lyl1 are not only important in the formation of these kinds of stem cell but also for their maintenance in adults, the researchers said.

"If these genes work together in stem cells, they might play a similar role in leukemia cells," said Goodell.

While she describes the two as sister genes, Goodell believes they have distinct roles as well.

Souroullas said, "While these genes are very similar and functionally redundant in adult stem cells, some molecular differences in protein structure, supported by other data in our lab, suggest that they may in fact have distinct functions in differentiated blood cell types"

Goodell added that "one may be more important in the embryo while the other in the adult."

Others who took part in this work include; Jessica M. Salmon and David J. Curtis of the University of Melbourne in Australia and Fred Sablitzky of the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Funding for this work came from the National Health & Medical Research Council in Australia and the National Institutes of Health in the United States.


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. "'Sister' Factors Promote Survival Of Blood-system Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205133753.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2009, February 6). 'Sister' Factors Promote Survival Of Blood-system Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205133753.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "'Sister' Factors Promote Survival Of Blood-system Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205133753.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 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