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.

Related Articles


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 March 29, 2015 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 March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
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