Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher reveals how to better master stem cells' fate

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers have long been searching for biotech's version of the fountain of youth -- ways to encourage embryonic stem cells and epiblast stem cells to endlessly self-renew, or divide to produce more stem cells.

USC researcher Qi-Long Ying has identified a new way of culturing human embryonic stem cells.
Credit: Courtesy of Qi-Long Ying

USC scientist Qi-Long Ying and a team of researchers have long been searching for biotech's version of the fountain of youth -- ways to encourage embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) to endlessly self-renew, or divide to produce more stem cells.

In a pair of studies published in Nature Communications in September and in The EMBO Journal in August, Ying and his team revealed some of the ways that ESCs and EpiSCs retain their pluripotency, or ability to differentiate into virtually any kind of cell.

The study in Nature Communications identified a novel way of culturing human ESCs by focusing on the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway -- a group of molecules that work together to control various cell functions, including some related to embryonic development.

According to the researchers, this pathway can prompt mouse EpiSCs and human ESCs to either self-renew or differentiate. When the protein beta-catenin remains within the cell cytoplasm but outside of the nucleus, the stem cell continues to self-renew. When beta-catenin moves into a stem cell's nucleus, differentiation begins.

The paper published in The EMBO Journal addresses mouse ESCs, which are derived from the embryo at an earlier stage and are more pluripotent than mouse EpiSCs.

The study revealed the important role of Tfcp2l1 -- a transcription factor, or protein that controls which genes are turned on and off in a cell.

In mice, Tfcp2l1 helps communicate to ESCs that they should self-renew. The transcription factor also shows promise for "rewinding" slightly more differentiated EpiSCs into the more naοve ESC state.

By learning more about the ESC and EpiSC playbooks, Ying and his colleagues can better control stem cell self-renewal, offering hope for patients with currently untreatable diseases and creating potential for a wide variety of other applications.

"These new findings have allowed us to develop conditions for the efficient propagation of human ESCs, and might also enable us to establish pluripotent stem cells from different species," said Ying, associate professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. "This has far-reaching implications for a variety of applied areas of investigation, ranging from manipulating the genomes of agricultural animals to developing stem cell-based therapies for ailments such as Parkinson's disease or spinal cord injuries."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California - Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Hoon Kim, Jun Wu, Shoudong Ye, Chih-I Tai, Xingliang Zhou, Hexin Yan, Ping Li, Martin Pera, Qi-Long Ying. Modulation of β-catenin function maintains mouse epiblast stem cell and human embryonic stem cell self-renewal. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3403
  2. Shoudong Ye, Ping Li, Chang Tong, Qi-Long Ying. Embryonic stem cell self-renewal pathways converge on the transcription factor Tfcp2l1. The EMBO Journal, 2013; 32 (19): 2548 DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2013.175

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Researcher reveals how to better master stem cells' fate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090243.htm>.
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. (2013, October 24). Researcher reveals how to better master stem cells' fate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090243.htm
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Researcher reveals how to better master stem cells' fate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090243.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. 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