Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers show 'trigger' to stem cell differentiation

Date:
December 13, 2009
Source:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
A gene which is essential for stem cells' capabilities to become any cell type has been identified by researchers. The discovery represents a further step in the ever-expanding field of understanding the ways in which stem cells develop into specific cells, a necessary prelude towards the use of stem cell therapy as a means to reverse the consequences of disease and disability.

A gene which is essential for stem cells' capabilities to become any cell type has been identified by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California, San Francisco.

The discovery represents a further step in the ever-expanding field of understanding the ways in which stem cells develop into specific cells, a necessary prelude towards the use of stem cell therapy as a means to reverse the consequences of disease and disability.

The identification of the gene, known as Chd1, was made by Dr. Eran Meshorer of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University and Dr. Miguel Ramalho-Santos (UCSF), together with their graduate students Adi Alajem (the Hebrew University) and Alexandre Gaspar-Maia (UCSF).

Embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are primary cells derived from the early developing embryo, are capable of giving rise, according to their environment and conditions, to any cell type -- a trait known as pluripotency.

It was assumed that the ES cells have a relatively high degree of open chromatin, which is thought to enable their pluripotency, a theory which awaited proof. Chromatin, which is found in all cells, is composed of DNA and its surrounding proteins and can be found in one of two conformations: closed chromatin (heterochromatin) -- when the genetic material is packed in a way that prevents the expression of the genes -- and open chromatin (euchromatin) -- when chromatin is accessible to the gene expression machinery. Different cells display varying degrees of open and closed chromatin as a function of the genes required for their function.

In their current study, which was published recently in the journal Nature, the researchers from the Hebrew University and UCSF showed, using mouse ES cells, that Chd1 regulates open chromatin in ES cells. The open chromatin conformation, maintained by Chd1, enabled the expression of a wide variety of genes, leading to proper differentiation into all types of specific cells. Depletion of Chd1 in embryonic stem cells led to formation of heterochromatin (closed chromatin) and prevented the ability of the cells to generate all types of tissues.

The study, therefore, showed a proven link between open chromatin in ES cells and their pluripotency -- an important finding on the road to the implementation of stem cell applications in future medical treatment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Researchers show 'trigger' to stem cell differentiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091210101403.htm>.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2009, December 13). Researchers show 'trigger' to stem cell differentiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091210101403.htm
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Researchers show 'trigger' to stem cell differentiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091210101403.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. 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