Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adult stem cells carry their own baggage: Epigenetics guides stem cell fate

Date:
July 1, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Adult stem and progenitor cells may not contain a clean genetic slate after all. A new report shows that these cells have unique "epigenetic signatures," which change once a cell differentiates. Epigenetic changes do not affect the make up in a cell's DNA, but how that DNA functions. Epigenetic changes have demonstrated a role in a range of diseases, as well as to be heritable from mother to child.

Adult stem cells and progenitor cells may not come with a clean genetic slate after all. That's because a new report in the FASEB Journal shows that adult stem or progenitor cells have their own unique "epigenetic signatures," which change once a cell differentiates. This is important because epigenetic changes do not affect the actual make up in a cell's DNA, but rather, how that DNA functions. Epigenetic changes have been shown to play a role in a wide range of diseases, including obesity, and have been shown to be heritable from mother to child.

"Ultimately, we hope to be able to decipher the mechanisms of how stem cells renew themselves as well as how they differentiate," said George L. Sen, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Program in Stem Cell Biology at the University of California, San Diego. "This will in turn allow us to coax these cells to behave in ways that we want to potentially aid in the treatment of tissue degenerative disorders."

Sen and colleagues drew their conclusions by mapping the DNA and histone methylation patterns in stem/progenitor cells and comparing them to differentiated cells. They found DNA and histone methylation "marks" on the promoter regions of differentiation genes in stem cells that prevented the expression of differentiation genes. They also showed that when the proteins used to mark the DNA were removed, stem cells would spontaneously differentiate. In regenerated human skin, the loss of these marks (epigenetic factors) resulted in loss of the stem/progenitor cells in the basal layer of the skin. Over time, the skin no longer regenerated and prematurely differentiated.

"Epigenetics has not replaced classical genetics. It has, however, provided the chemical and biological explanation for short-term, heritable changes that tell cells where their parents have been and where they themselves are going," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "This study shows that adult stem and progenitor cells, like many human adults, come with baggage from family history that affects how they behave."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. L. Sen. Remembering one's identity: the epigenetic basis of stem cell fate decisions. The FASEB Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-182774

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Adult stem cells carry their own baggage: Epigenetics guides stem cell fate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630112851.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, July 1). Adult stem cells carry their own baggage: Epigenetics guides stem cell fate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630112851.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Adult stem cells carry their own baggage: Epigenetics guides stem cell fate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630112851.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. 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