Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key function of protein discovered for obtaining blood stem cells as source for transplants

Date:
July 25, 2012
Source:
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute)
Summary:
Researchers have deciphered the function executed by a protein called b-catenin in generating blood tissue stem cells. These cells are used as a source for transplants that form part of the therapies to fight different types of leukemia. The results obtained will open the doors to produce these stem cells in the laboratory and will let patients with no compatible donors be able to benefit from this discovery in the future.

Detail of the aorta of a 10.5 days mouse embryo where we can see in green the cells with activated b-catenin. Some of these cells will be in the future hematopoietic stem cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of IMIM

With an eye to the future, the results will let cells be obtained in the laboratory that can be transplanted into leukemia patients with no compatible donors.

Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have deciphered the function executed by a protein called β-catenin in generating blood tissue stem cells. These cells, also called hematopoietic, are used as a source for transplants that form part of the therapies to fight different types of leukemia. The results obtained will open the doors to produce these stem cells in the laboratory and, thus, improve the quality and quantity of these surgical procedures. This will let patients with no compatible donors be able to benefit from this discovery in the future.

The study, executed jointly with the Erasmus Medical Center Stem Cell of Rotterdam and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, analyzed a chain of molecular reactions that are produced inside some embryonic cells and that play a role in the creation of a hematopoietic stem cells. 'Our study contributes to deciphering the code that makes a precursor cell that is only found in the embryo become a hematopoietic stem cell. In order for that to happen, the β-catenin protein must be activated for a while and with a specific dosage' explains Dr Anna Bigas, head of the IMIM Stem Cells & Cancer Group and lead researcher.

This protein also plays a fundamental role in the cells that originate and maintain some types of leukemia. 'The parallelisms between normal and leukemia stem cells prove to us that the molecular pathways that regulate both populations are the same. For this reason, our work will help us understand the origin of these diseases', argues Dr Bigas.

In addition to embryonic stem cells, each of our body's organs has another type of stem cell that has the capacity to regenerate all the cells for the tissue in question. However, they are only formed in the embryonic stage and are maintained for the rest of our lives. hematopoietic stem cells are part of the blood and, when they are transplanted, they are the inception for all of this tissue's cells.

At present, transplanting these cells is dependent on the availability of compatible donors. Nonetheless, there is still a high percentage of patients with no donors and that, therefore, cannot be submitted to this procedure. The results of this article lay the foundations so that, in the future, these patients can benefit from a source of laboratory-generated hematopoietic stem cells created from compatible embryonic cells or other types of expressly transformed cells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Ruiz-Herguido, J. Guiu, T. D'Altri, J. Ingles-Esteve, E. Dzierzak, L. Espinosa, A. Bigas. Hematopoietic stem cell development requires transient Wnt/-catenin activity. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1084/jem.20120225

Cite This Page:

IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute). "Key function of protein discovered for obtaining blood stem cells as source for transplants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725105258.htm>.
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute). (2012, July 25). Key function of protein discovered for obtaining blood stem cells as source for transplants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725105258.htm
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute). "Key function of protein discovered for obtaining blood stem cells as source for transplants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725105258.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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