Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fountain-of-youth gene repairs tissue damage in adults

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Young animals recover from tissue damage better than adults, and from Charles Darwin's time until now, scientists have puzzled over why this is the case. A study has revealed that an evolutionarily conserved gene called Lin28a, which is very active in embryos but not in adults, enhances tissue repair after injury when reactivated in adult mice. The findings open up new avenues for the treatment of injuries and degenerative diseases in adult humans.

This image shows tissue regrowth in adult mice (wildtype).
Credit: Cell, Shyh-Chang et al.

Young animals recover from tissue damage better than adults, and from Charles Darwin's time until now, scientists have puzzled over why this is the case. A study published by Cell Press November 7th in the journal Cell has revealed that an evolutionarily conserved gene called Lin28a, which is very active in embryos but not in adults, enhances tissue repair after injury when reactivated in adult mice. The findings open up new avenues for the treatment of injuries and degenerative diseases in adult humans.

Related Articles


"It sounds like science fiction, but Lin28a could be part of a healing cocktail that gives adults the superior tissue repair seen in juvenile animals," says senior study author George Daley of Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Tissue repair is more robust in juveniles than in adults throughout the evolutionary spectrum of organisms, from insects and amphibians to fish and mammals. The molecular causes of this phenomenon have been elusive, but Daley and his collaborators speculated that the Lin28a protein could play a role because it regulates growth and development in juveniles, but its levels decline with age.

To test whether this protein might influence tissue repair in adults, Daley and his team reactivated the Lin28a gene in adult mice. Lin28a enhanced hair regrowth in these mice after they were shaved, and promoted tissue repair in their ears and digits after injury. The protein also stimulated cell proliferation and migration, which are critical for tissue repair. Lin28a achieved all of these effects by increasing the production of several metabolic enzymes and enhancing metabolic processes that are normally more active in embryos.

"We were surprised that what was previously believed to be a mundane cellular 'housekeeping' function would be so important for tissue repair," says study author Shyh-Chang Ng of Harvard Medical School. "One of our experiments showed that bypassing Lin28a and directly activating mitochondrial metabolism with a small-molecule compound also had the effect of enhancing wound healing, suggesting that it could be possible to use drugs to promote tissue repair in humans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ng Shyh-Chang, Hao Zhu, T. Yvanka de Soysa, Gen Shinoda, Marc T. Seligson, Kaloyan M. Tsanov, Liem Nguyen, John M. Asara, Lewis C. Cantley, George Q. Daley. Lin28 Enhances Tissue Repair by Reprogramming Cellular Metabolism. Cell, 2013; 155 (4): 778 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.059

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Fountain-of-youth gene repairs tissue damage in adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107123037.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, November 7). Fountain-of-youth gene repairs tissue damage in adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107123037.htm
Cell Press. "Fountain-of-youth gene repairs tissue damage in adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107123037.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include 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:

More Coverage


Researchers Regrow Hair, Cartilage, Bone, Soft Tissues: Enhancing Cell Metabolism Key to Tissue Repair

Nov. 7, 2013 — Young animals are known to repair their tissues effortlessly, but can this capacity be recaptured in adults? A new study suggests that it can. By reactivating a dormant gene called Lin28a, which is ... read more

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