Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists discover how to control fate of stem cells

Date:
June 26, 2011
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Scientists have discovered how the body uses a single communication system to decide the fate of stem cells. The study paves the way for the development of new methods of stem cell therapy with fewer side effects.

Scientists from the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), in collaboration with the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI), have discovered how the body uses a single communication system to decide the fate of stem cells. The study, published in the scientific journal PLoS Genetics on 23rd June 2011, paves the way for the development of new methods of stem cell therapy with fewer side effects.

Related Articles


Dr Kian Leong Lee and his team of scientists studied how a single signaling system known as the Nodal/Activin pathway tells stem cells what cell type they should eventually become. The pathway is able to specify a wide range of eventual cell types, challenging the current belief that chemical signaling systems are highly specific and only control a limited number of outcomes. This discovery is a major step forward for stem cell therapies and personalised medicine; by exploiting this signaling system, scientists will be able to control the eventual fate of a stem cell by simply adjusting the chemical environment of a cell. This method of controlling stem cell differentiation also avoids modifying the genetic material of the cell, a procedure that might lead to the cells becoming cancerous.

Dr Lee, first author and post-doctoral research fellow at GIS and CSI said, "Many scientists believe that protein and chemical signaling systems have highly specific functions in biology. However, our study demonstrates that the same type of signal can be changed very dramatically to give different instructions. This finding is extremely significant because it paves the way for advanced studies in cell regeneration and tissue repair, which could ultimately lead to its use in personalized medicine, where stem cells from the same patient could be manipulated to make other types of cells that are genetically matched to the donor."

Urban Lendahl, professor of genetics and vice-chairman at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden mentioned, "The report by Lee et al represents a truly significant advance in our understanding of how one of the key signaling mechanisms controls stem cell maintenance and differentiation. The authors show that either an increase or decrease in Nodal/Activin signaling leads to exit from the stem cell state in embryonic stem cells. They also take this a step further, by providing a very exciting molecular explanation for this observation. The finding that pSmad2 regulates distinct gene sets at different levels of Nodal/Activin signaling provides new and important insights into the molecular regulation of the stem cell state."


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. Kian Leong Lee, Sandy Keat Lim, Yuriy Lvovich Orlov, Le Yau Yit, Henry Yang, Lay Teng Ang, Lorenz Poellinger, Bing Lim. Graded Nodal/Activin Signaling Titrates Conversion of Quantitative Phospho-Smad2 Levels into Qualitative Embryonic Stem Cell Fate Decisions. PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (6): e1002130 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002130

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists discover how to control fate of stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624094534.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2011, June 26). Scientists discover how to control fate of stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624094534.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists discover how to control fate of stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624094534.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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