Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene related to aging plays role in stem cell differentiation

Date:
June 5, 2010
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
A gene shown to play a role in the aging process appears to play a role in the regulation of the differentiation of embryonic stem cells, according to new research.

A gene shown to play a role in the aging process appears to play a role in the regulation of the differentiation of embryonic stem cells, according to researchers from the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.

In the study, published online in the journal Aging Cell, the researchers identified a protein interaction that controls the silencing of Oct4, a key transcription factor that is critical to ensuring that embryonic stem cells remain pluripotent. The protein, WRNp, is the product of a gene associated with Werner syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder hallmarked by premature aging. The gene expression in Werner syndrome closely resembles that of normal aging, and as a result, Werner syndrome is an accepted model of aging.

They first found that WRNp accumulates at the Oct4 promoter in differentiating stem cells. They then found that WRNp interacts with another protein called Dnmt3b to control DNA methylation at the Oct4 promoter, according to researchers led by Renι Daniel, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine.

Previously, Dnmt3b was identified to be a key player in the DNA methylation of the Oct4 promoter. DNA methylation of the Oct4 promoter inactivates the Oct4 gene. The inactivation, or silencing, of this gene is necessary for stem cell differentiation.

"We showed that the depletion of WRNp blocked the recruitment of Dnmt3b to the Oct4 promoter, and resulted in reduced methylation," Dr. Daniel said. "The reduced DNA methylation was associated with continued Oct4 expression, which resulted in attenuated differentiation."

Until now, the focus of studies on the role of WRNp in aging has been on telomeres. These studies have shown that telomeres undergo accelerated shortening and loss in Werner syndrome cells. But it remains to be shown if this is the major role that WRNp plays in the aging process.

"These results reveal a novel function of WRNp, and demonstrate that WRNp controls a key step in pluripotent stem cell differentiation," Dr. Daniel said. "Our data support the emerging hypothesis that attenuated stem cell differentiation is involved in aging. This lack of differentiated cells may contribute to failure to maintain organ or tissue function in the later stages of life."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Johanna A. Smith, Abibatou M. N. Ndoye, Kyla Geary, Michael P. Lisanti, Olga Igoucheva, Renι Daniel. A role for the Werner syndrome protein in epigenetic inactivation of the pluripotency factor Oct4. Aging Cell, 2010; no DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00585.x

Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Gene related to aging plays role in stem cell differentiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100604132038.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2010, June 5). Gene related to aging plays role in stem cell differentiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100604132038.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Gene related to aging plays role in stem cell differentiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100604132038.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. 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