Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again

Date:
January 30, 2014
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers identified a major obstacle to converting cells back to their youthful state -- the speed of the cell cycle, or the time required for a cell to divide. When the cell cycle accelerates to a certain speed, the barriers that keep a cell's fate on one path diminish. In such a state, cells are easily persuaded to change their identity and become pluripotent, or capable of becoming multiple cell types.

Researchers have identified a major obstacle to converting cells back to their youthful state -- the speed of the cell cycle, or the time required for a cell to divide.
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

A fundamental axiom of biology used to be that cell fate is a one-way street -- once a cell commits to becoming muscle, skin, or blood it always remains muscle, skin, or blood cell. That belief was upended in the past decade when a Japanese scientist introduced four simple factors into skin cells and returned them to an embryonic-like state, capable of becoming almost any cell type in the body.

Hopeful of revolutionary medical therapies using a patient's own cells, scientists rushed to capitalize on the discovery by 2012 Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. However, the process has remained slow and inefficient, and scientists have had a difficult time discovering a genetic explanation of why this should be.

In the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Cell, Yale School of Medicine researchers identified a major obstacle to converting cells back to their youthful state -- the speed of the cell cycle, or the time required for a cell to divide.

When the cell cycle accelerates to a certain speed, the barriers that keep a cell's fate on one path diminish. In such a state, cells are easily persuaded to change their identity and become pluripotent, or capable of becoming multiple cell types.

"One analogy may be that when temperature increases to sufficient degrees, even a very hard piece of steel can be malleable so that you can give it a new shape easily," said Shangqin Guo, assistant professor of cell biology at the Yale Stem Cell Center and lead author of the paper. "Once cells are cycling extremely fast, they do not seem to face the same barriers to becoming pluripotent."

Guo's team studied blood-forming cells, which when dividing undergo specific changes in their cell cycle to produce new blood cells. Blood-forming progenitor cells normally produce only new blood cells. However, the introduction of Yamanaka factors sometimes -- but not always -- help these blood-forming cells become other types of cells. The new report finds that after this treatment blood-forming cells tend to become pluripotent when the cell cycle is completed in eight hours or less, an unusual speed for adult cells. Cells that cycle more slowly remain blood cells.

"This discovery changes the way people think about how to change cell fate and reveals that a basic 'house-keeping' function of a cell, such as its cell cycle length, can actually have a major impact on switching the fate of a cell," said Haifan Lin, director of the Yale Stem Cell Center.

The study has other implications than explaining the bottleneck in reprogramming that makes it difficult to produce individualized pluripotent stem cells for research and therapy. Shangqin Guo noted that many human diseases are associated with abnormalities in establishing proper cell identity as well as abnormalities in cell cycle behavior.

Video: http://vimeo.com/59083655


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. Shangqin Guo, Xiaoyuan Zi, Vincent P. Schulz, Jijun Cheng, Mei Zhong, Sebastian H.J. Koochaki, Cynthia M. Megyola, Xinghua Pan, Kartoosh Heydari, Sherman M. Weissman et al. Nonstochastic Reprogramming from a Privileged Somatic Cell State. Cell, 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.020

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121609.htm>.
Yale University. (2014, January 30). Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121609.htm
Yale University. "Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121609.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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