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.

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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