Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists first to perform genome-wide study of human stem cells

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
A team of scientists has discovered the most important genes in human embryonic stem cells. Their research is the first ever genome-wide study of human stem cells on such a massive scale.

A team of scientists from Singapore led by the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), two biomedical research institutes of Singapore's Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), has discovered the most important genes in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a crucial breakthrough in discovering how human stem cells work.

Their research, published in the journal Nature, is the first ever genome-wide study of human stem cells on such a massive scale, and its results are crucial in understanding how stem cells may one day be used to treat debilitating conditions such as Parkinson's disease and traumatic spinal injury.

GIS Senior Group Leader for Stem Cell and Development Biology and Associate Director for Biology Dr Ng Huck Hui, and IMCB Principal Investigator Dr Frederic Bard combined the strengths of their teams to investigate the 21,000 genes in the entire human genome to find those which regulate the two characteristic properties of hESCs -- the capacity to turn into any type of cell in the human body (pluripotency), and the ability to retain that capacity indefinitely. Out of the several key genes they identified, a particular gene known as PRDM14 was discovered to make it easier to turn a type of human cell (fibroblasts) into pluripotent stem cells. The discoveries contribute to a fundamental understanding of the nature of stem cells and helps efforts to improve techniques to turn mature adult cells into hESCs.

In addition, the scientists found that PRDM14 played a key role in hESCs, but not in mouse ESCs. This significant new finding highlights the fundamental differences between stem cells from different species, and highlights the greater need to use human cells in stem cell research.

"Very little is known about the molecular machines that drive stem cell states or the transcriptional profiles of hESCs. Our study helps to build a better understanding of hESCs and this will help in the development of technologies to further the utilities of these cells such as their potential to be used for clinical and therapeutic applications," said Dr Ng. "Dr Bard's scientific expertise was invaluable in helping us crack another piece of the stem cell puzzle. I definitely look forward to collaborating with him on more projects that aim to peel away the mysteries surrounding stem cells" he added.

Dr Alan Colman, Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium, said, "Huck Hui Ng and his colleagues continue to keep Singapore at the top table of countries plundering the secrets of human embryonic stem cell regulation. This time they have deployed the first genome-wide functional screen to identify factors that maintain 'stemness' in these cells and yet again reveal major differences between mouse and human embryonic stem cells in the control of this important property."

Senior Scientist at the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Dr Janet Rossant added, "The unprecedented scale of this screen has added considerable new information to our understanding of pluripotency and will help efforts to improve reprogramming of adult cells."

Professor Lee Eng Hin, Executive Director of the Biomedical Research Council, A*STAR, applauded the discovery and said, "This is an examplar of a great cross institutional collaboration. The combined strength of stem cell and genomics experts has led to a great piece of world-class work. I hope to see more of such valuable partnerships in the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Na-Yu Chia, Yun-Shen Chan, Bo Feng, Xinyi Lu, Yuriy L. Orlov, Dimitri Moreau, Pankaj Kumar, Lin Yang, Jianming Jiang, Mei-Sheng Lau, Mikael Huss, Boon-Seng Soh, Petra Kraus, Pin Li, Thomas Lufkin, Bing Lim, Neil D. Clarke, Frederic Bard, Huck-Hui Ng. A genome-wide RNAi screen reveals determinants of human embryonic stem cell identity. Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature09531

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists first to perform genome-wide study of human stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018102331.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2010, October 18). Scientists first to perform genome-wide study of human stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018102331.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists first to perform genome-wide study of human stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018102331.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
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
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) 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:
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