Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem Cells Made From Developing Sperm

Date:
August 7, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
The promise of stem cell therapy may lie in uncovering how adult cells revert back into a primordial, stem cell state, whose fate is yet to be determined. Now, cell scientists have identified key molecular players responsible for this reversion in fruit fly sperm cells. Researchers have shown that two proteins are responsible redirecting cells on the way to becoming sperm back to stem cells.

The promise of stem cell therapy may lie in uncovering how adult cells revert back into a primordial, stem cell state, whose fate is yet to be determined. Now, cell scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have identified key molecular players responsible for this reversion in fruit fly sperm cells. Reporting online in Cell Stem Cell, researchers show that two proteins are responsible redirecting cells on the way to becoming sperm back to stem cells.

"We knew from our previous work that cells destined to be sperm could revert back to being stem cells, but we didn't know how," says Erika Matunis, Ph.D., an associate professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Since, dedifferentiation is an interesting phenomenon probably occurring in a lot of different stem cell populations, we wanted to know more about the process."

Like all stem cells, each of the nine stem cells in the fly testis divides to form two daughter cells: One stays a stem cell and the other differentiates into an adult cell, in this case, a sperm cell. To figure out what might cause sperm cells to revert or dedifferentiate, Matunis's research team genetically altered the flies so that both cells become sperm, reducing the stem cell population in the testis to nothing.

About a week later, the team examined these fly testes and found that the stem cells had been repopulated.

To figure out how this was happening, the researchers first suspected two proteins—Jak and STAT—known to act together to help stem cells maintain their stem cell-ness. The team genetically altered flies to reduce the activity of Jak and STAT in the testis. Counting the number of cells, they found that the loss of Jak-STAT caused fewer cells to revert to stem cells; only 60 percent of testes regained stem cells compared to 97 percent in normal Jak-STAT-containing testes.

"We now know that in the fly testis, interfering with Jak-STAT signaling interferes with the process of dedifferentiation," says Matunis.

Next, Matunis would like to figure out how Jak and STAT control dedifferentiation. "We don't know if a cell is just reversing all of the steps to go back to being a stem cell or if it is doing something totally new and different, but we're eager to find out," she says.

Authors on the paper are X. Rebecca Sheng and Erika Matunis of Johns Hopkins and Crista Brawley, formerly of Johns Hopkins, now at the University of Chicago.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Stem Cells Made From Developing Sperm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806121716.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2009, August 7). Stem Cells Made From Developing Sperm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806121716.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Stem Cells Made From Developing Sperm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806121716.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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