Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fruit Fly Stem Cells Filmed Live

Date:
June 9, 2009
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
How can stem cells be used in regenerative medicine? In what way might they lead to certain cancers? Stem cell research is a major challenge for medicine. Recently, asymmetric cell division was filmed in vivo in fruit fly germinal stem cells for the first time.

Ovariole of Drosophila melanogaster. (the organ where gametes form in insects). Germinal stem cells are at the extreme rear. DNA is shown in blue. (Magnification 630x)
Credit: Copyright Jean-René Huynh

How can stem cells be used in regenerative medicine? In what way might they lead to certain cancers? Stem cell research is a major challenge for medicine. Recently, asymmetric cell division was filmed in vivo in fruit fly germinal stem cells for the first time by the team of Jean-René Huynh at the Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot), now working at the ‘Génétique du développement et cancer' laboratory (Institut Curie/CNRS/UPMC/Inserm). This new step towards our understanding of stem cell behavior is published in Nature Cell Biology.

As stem cells can produce any kind of cells in higher animals, they are a crucial focus of research interest. On one hand, these unspecialized cells are self-renewing, producing identical duplicates. On the other hand, they are capable of producing one or more specialized cell types in an organism: gametes, skin, liver, etc. In view of these capacities, the team of CNRS researcher Jean-René Huynh is attempting to understand this regenerative capacity. How do stem cells, while dividing a great many times, manage to maintain their growth rate and size while producing daughter cells capable of differentiating and forming different organs?

Huynh and his team have worked on germline stem cells *(1)* of the fruit fly /Drosophila/, an insect whose simplicity, genetics and rapid life cycle have made it a model species. For the first time they filmed germline stem cells dividing /in vivo/ in their cellular environment(using fluorescent markers). It hasn't yet been possible to view vertebrate cells /in /vivo and such studies are usually made on cultured cells.

The researchers identified a new gene needed for the growth and multiplication of stem cells, which they have named /wicked/. By characterizing the biochemical function of the protein coded by the /wicked /gene (Wicked protein) the researchers showed that it was used to make ribosomes *(2)*, necessary for protein production and cellular growth. By filming the germline stem cells /in vivo/, they saw that the Wicked protein was located asymmetrically. At the end of the division there are no Wicked/ /proteins in the stem cell, except in the daughter cell that will differentiate into a gamete.

The researchers have also proven that the asymmetric localization phenomenon is not only in the germline. Neural stem cells, which give rise to thousands of adult brain neurons, also preferentially accumulate the Wicked protein. When their /wicked/ gene has a dysfunctional mutation, these stem cells become smaller and produce fewer neurons.

The team's results reveal that a preferential accumulation of ribosomal biogenesis components (related to accumulation of the Wicked protein) is a possible mechanism leading to asymmetrical cellular growth. The adaptation of an ordinary cellular process can therefore explain some of the exceptional capacities of these stem cells. By improving our understanding of fundamental stem cell biology we can envisage their use in regenerative medicine, to repair malformed, damaged or aging tissues. Additionally, by understanding the regulation of stem cell multiplication, scientists could find ways of explaining the reasons for certain cancers occurring when the capacity for cellular multiplication is unregulated, and which are incurable using normal treatments.

(1)* Germinal stem cells are cells destined to multiply and differentiate into gametes.

(2)* Ribosomes are ribonucleoprotein molecules that play a role in cellular protein synthesis by decoding the information in messenger RNA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pierre Fichelson, Clara Moch, Kenzo Ivanovitch, Charlotte Martin, Clara M Sidor, Jean-Antoine Lepesant, Yohanns Bellaiche & Jean-Rene Huynh. Live-imaging of single stem cells within their niche reveals that a U3snoRNP component segregates asymmetrically and is required for self-renewal in Drosophila. Nature Cell Biology, 2009; 11 (6): 685 DOI: 10.1038/ncb1874

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Fruit Fly Stem Cells Filmed Live." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605091858.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2009, June 9). Fruit Fly Stem Cells Filmed Live. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605091858.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Fruit Fly Stem Cells Filmed Live." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605091858.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 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
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
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

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