Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marking of tissue-specific crucial in embryonic stem cells to ensure proper function

Date:
December 18, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Tissue-specific genes, thought to be dormant or not marked for activation in embryonic stem cells, are indeed marked by transcription factors, with proper marking potentially crucial for the function of tissues derived from stem cells.

Tissue-specific genes, thought to be dormant or not marked for activation in embryonic stem cells, are indeed marked by transcription factors, with proper marking potentially crucial for the function of tissues derived from stem cells.

The finding in the study by researchers at the Broad Stem Cell Research Center involves a class of genes whose properties previously were thought to be unimportant for stem cell function. Most research has instead focused on genes that regulate a pluripotency network and genes that regulate differentiation of embryonic stem cells into other cell lineages.

The Broad center researchers focused on a third class of genes, those expressed only in defined cell types or tissues, which generally remain silent until long after embryonic stem cells have differentiated into specific cell lineages.

"Although prior models suggested that the cascade of events leading to the activation of tissue-specific genes doesn't begin until embryonic stem cells have differentiated, our findings support a new hypothesis in which the competence of these genes for expression is dependent on specific marks established in the pluripotent state," said Stephen Smale, a professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and senior author of the study. "If this hypothesis is correct, the proper marking of tissue-specific genes may be essential for pluripotency and the efficient differentiation of stem cells into clinically usable cell types and tissues."

The study is published in the Dec. 15, 2009 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Genes and Development.

Prior to this study, typical tissue-specific genes were believed to have no critical interactions and exist in a base state in embryonic stem cells, sitting silently in the cell waiting to be "marked" by proteins that set in motion a cascade of molecular events. However, Smale and his team unexpectedly identified protein marks on these genes in stem cells and obtained striking evidence that the absence of these stem cell marks compromises gene expression in stem cell-derived tissues. The finding that these genes were already marked was surprising, Smale said.

"This finding may help us understand what it really means to be pluripotent," Smale said. "True pluripotency may depend on faithful marking in pluripotent stem cells of many or all genes within the human genome."

This could be particularly important for those seeking to use embryonic stem cells or reprogrammed cells, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, to treat diseases or in regenerative medicine. The stem cell marks may ensure that the end result -- a beta cell to treat diabetes, a neuron for Parkinson's disease, or a cardiac cell for heart problems -- is a fully functional cell operating at 100 percent of its potential.

"We really do need to pay attention to these genes at the outset," Smale said. "Although silent in stem cells, their properties appear to be very important."

This study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a training grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to Jian Xu, lead author on the study. Other key participants included Kenneth Zaret from the University of Pennsylvania and Kathrin Plath from the Broad Stem Cell Research Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Marking of tissue-specific crucial in embryonic stem cells to ensure proper function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091216103609.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, December 18). Marking of tissue-specific crucial in embryonic stem cells to ensure proper function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091216103609.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Marking of tissue-specific crucial in embryonic stem cells to ensure proper function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091216103609.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. 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