Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem Cell Breakthrough: 'Switch' Created That Turns Stem Cells Into Muscle

Date:
April 1, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
In a genetic engineering breakthrough that could help everyone from bed-ridden patients to elite athletes, a team of American researchers has created a "switch" that allows mutations to be turned on in muscle stem cells to monitor muscle regeneration in a living mammal.

Scientists have created a "switch" that allows mutations to be turned on in muscle stem cells -- work could lead to a drug that would allow people to grow new muscle cells.
Credit: iStockphoto/Carlos Santa Maria

In a genetic engineering breakthrough that could help everyone from bed-ridden patients to elite athletes, a team of American researchers—including 2007 Nobel Prize winner Mario R. Capecchi—have created a "switch" that allows mutations to be turned on in muscle stem cells to monitor muscle regeneration in a living mammal.

For humans, this work could lead to a genetic switch, or drug, that allows people to grow new muscle cells to replace those that are damaged, worn out, or not working for other reasons (e.g., muscular dystrophy). In addition, this same discovery also gives researchers a new tool for the study of difficult-to-treat muscle cancers.

"We hope that the genetically-engineered mouse models we developed will help scientists and clinicians better understand how to make muscle stem cells regenerate muscle tissue," said Charles Keller, M.D., assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center and a senior researcher involved in the work. "For our own work on childhood muscle cancers, we also hope to understand how tumors start and progress, and to develop therapies that are less toxic than chemotherapy."

The scientists made their discovery by breeding special mice with a specific gene, called "Cre," which, when activated, can trigger mutations in muscle stem cells. This Cre trigger is restricted to muscle stem cells and requires a special drug for it to be activated. In one part of the study, using fluorescent techniques, the researchers were able to visualize stem cells and their derivatives in order to pinpoint exactly where muscle tissue was being made. In another part of the study, the scientists were able to activate tumor-causing mutations in muscle stem cells, providing valuable insights into the origins of muscle tumors, which have been previously elusive.

"This is basic science at its best," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This study in mice has not only shown us how stem cells turn into muscle in the living body, but brought us closer to the day when we can use stem cells to repair wounded flesh or a maimed physique."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Koichi Nishijo et al. Biomarker system for studying muscle, stem cells, and cancer in vivo. FASEB J., 2009; DOI: 10.1096/fj.08-128116

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Stem Cell Breakthrough: 'Switch' Created That Turns Stem Cells Into Muscle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330154806.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, April 1). Stem Cell Breakthrough: 'Switch' Created That Turns Stem Cells Into Muscle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330154806.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Stem Cell Breakthrough: 'Switch' Created That Turns Stem Cells Into Muscle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330154806.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. 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