Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How embryonic stem cells orchestrate human development

Date:
April 5, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers show in detail how three genes within human embryonic stem cells regulate development, a finding that increases understanding of how to grow these cells for therapeutic purposes.

Yale researchers show in detail how three genes within human embryonic stem cells regulate development, a finding that increases understanding of how to grow these cells for therapeutic purposes.

Related Articles


This process, described in the April 6 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, is different in humans than in mice, highlighting the importance of research using human embryonic stem cells.

"It is difficult to deduce from the mouse how these cells work in humans," said Natalia Ivanova, assistant professor of genetics in the Yale Stem Cell Center and senior author of the study. "Human networks organize themselves quite differently."

Embryonic stem cells form soon after conception and are special because each cell can become any type of cell in the body. Cells become increasingly specialized as development progresses, losing the ability to become other cell types -- except for the renewal of a few new stem cells. Scientists want to understand the processes of self-renewal and differentiation in order to treat a host of diseases characterized by damaged cells such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.

Scientists have identified three genes active in early development -- Nanog, Oct 4, and Sox 2 -- as essential to maintaining the stem cell's ability to self-renew and prevent premature differentiation into the "wrong" type of cells. Because of restrictions on the use of human embryonic stem cells, much of the investigation into how these genes work has been done in mice.

The new study shows that human embryonic cells operate in fundamentally different ways in humans than in mouse cells. In humans, for instance, Nanog pairs with Oct 4 to regulate differentiation of so-called neuro-ectoderm cells, a lineage that gives rise to neurons and other central nervous system cells. Sox 2, by contrast, inhibits the differentiation of mesoderm -- a lineage that gives rise to muscles and many other tissue types. Oct 4 cooperates with the other genes and is crucial in the regulation of all four early cell lineages: ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm -- which gives rise to gut and glands such as liver and pancreas -- as well as the creation of new stem cells. The self-renewal of stem cells has been implicated in several forms of cancer.

Ivanova stresses that many other genes must be involved in regulation of these early developmental changes, and her lab is investigating that question now.

The research was supported by a grant from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Bill Hathaway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zheng Wang, Efrat Oron, Brynna Nelson, Spiro Razis, Natalia Ivanova. Distinct Lineage Specification Roles for NANOG, OCT4, and SOX2 in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2012; 10 (4): 440 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.02.016

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "How embryonic stem cells orchestrate human development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405131427.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, April 5). How embryonic stem cells orchestrate human development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405131427.htm
Yale University. "How embryonic stem cells orchestrate human development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405131427.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 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:

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