Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation

Date:
March 1, 2012
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Scientists have for the first time, identified that precise regulation of polyamine levels is critical for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal -- the ability of ESCs to divide indefinitely -- and directed differentiation. This paper is crucial for better understanding of ESC regulation.

A*STAR scientists have for the first time, identified that precise regulation of polyamine[1] levels is critical for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal -- the ability of ESCs to divide indefinitely -- and directed differentiation. This paper is crucial for better understanding of ESC regulation and was published in the journal Genes & Development on 1st March by the team of scientists from the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Embryonic stem cells hold great potential for the development of cellular therapies, where stem cells are used to repair tissue damaged by disease or trauma. This is due to their unique ability to renew themselves and differentiate into any specific types of cell in the body. One of the challenges with cellular therapies is ensuring that ESCs are fully and efficiently differentiated into the correct cell type. This study sheds light on understanding how ESCs are regulated, which is essential to overcome these challenges and turn the vision of cell therapies into reality.

Using a mouse model, the team of scientists from IMB showed that high levels of Amd1[2], a key enzyme in the polyamine synthesis pathway, is essential for maintenance of the ESC state and self renewal of ESCs. To further demonstrate the critical role of Amd1 in ESC self-renewal, the scientists showed that increasing Amd1 levels led to delayed ESC differentiation. The research also revealed that downregulation of Amd1 was necessary for differentiation of ESCs into neural precursor cells and that Amd1 is translationally regulated by a micro-RNA (miRNA), the first ever demonstration of miRNA-mediated regulation of the polyamine pathway.

While the polyamine pathway is well established and polyamines are known to be important in cancer and cell proliferation, their role in ESC regulation until now was unknown. This novel discovery, linking polyamine regulation to ESC biology, came about when the team set up a genome-wide screen to look for mRNAs under translational control in order to identify new regulators of ESC differentiation to neural precursor cells.

Dr Leah Vardy, principle investigator at the IMB and lead author of the paper, said, "The polyamines that Amd1 regulate have the potential to regulate many different aspects of self renewal and differentiation. The next step is to understand in more detail the molecular targets of these polyamines both in embryonic stem cells and cells differentiating to different cellular lineages. It is possible that manipulation of polyamine levels in embryonic stem cells through inhibitors or activators of the pathway could help direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells to more clinically useful cell types."

Notes:

[1] Polyamines are required for a wide range of cellular processes, including differentiation and cell proliferation, and their levels are tightly regulated.

[2] Amd1 (Adenosyl methionine decarboxylase) is a critical enzme required for the synthesis of the polyamines spermine and spermidine.


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.


Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103915.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2012, March 1). Groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103915.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103915.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

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
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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