Navigation Links
A*STAR scientists make groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation

A*STAR scientists have for the first time, identified that precise regulation of polyamine levels is critical for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal the ability of ESCs to divide indefinitely and directed differentiation. This paper is crucial for better understanding of ESC regulation and was published in the journal Genes & Development on 1st March by the team of scientists from the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Embryonic stem cells hold great potential for the development of cellular therapies, where stem cells are used to repair tissue damaged by disease or trauma. This is due to their unique ability to renew themselves and differentiate into any specific types of cell in the body. One of the challenges with cellular therapies is ensuring that ESCs are fully and efficiently differentiated into the correct cell type. This study sheds light on understanding how ESCs are regulated, which is essential to overcome these challenges and turn the vision of cell therapies into reality.

Using a mouse model, the team of scientists from IMB showed that high levels of Amd1 , a key enzyme in the polyamine synthesis pathway, is essential for maintenance of the ESC state and self renewal of ESCs. To further demonstrate the critical role of Amd1 in ESC self-renewal, the scientists showed that increasing Amd1 levels led to delayed ESC differentiation. The research also revealed that downregulation of Amd1 was necessary for differentiation of ESCs into neural precursor cells and that Amd1 is translationally regulated by a micro-RNA (miRNA), the first ever demonstration of miRNA-mediated regulation of the polyamine pathway.

While the polyamine pathway is well established and polyamines are known to be important in cancer and cell proliferation, their role in ESC regulation until now was unknown. This novel discovery, linking polyamine regulation to ESC biology, came about when the team set up a genome-wide screen to look for mRNAs under translational control in order to identify new regulators of ESC differentiation to neural precursor cells.

Dr Leah Vardy, Principle Investigator at the IMB and lead author of the paper, said, "The polyamines that Amd1 regulate have the potential to regulate many different aspects of self renewal and differentiation. The next step is to understand in more detail the molecular targets of these polyamines both in embryonic stem cells and cells differentiating to different cellular lineages. It is possible that manipulation of polyamine levels in embryonic stem cells through inhibitors or activators of the pathway could help direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells to more clinically useful cell types."

Prof. Birgitte Lane, Executive Director of IMB, said, "This is a fine piece of fundamental research that will have breakthrough consequences in many areas and can bring about far-reaching applications. Developing cellular therapies is just one long-term clinical benefit of understanding ESC biology, which can also help develop stem cell systems for disease modeling, developing new drugs as well as a tool for researchers to answer other biological questions."


Contact: Ong Siok Ming
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Related biology news :

1. A*STAR scientists first to identify stem cell key to lung regeneration
2. A*Star scientists discover how to combat hospital-acquired infections and life-threatening toxins
3. Agilent Technologies and A*STAR launch all-in-one drug screening platform
4. A*STAR scientists score hat-trick against cancer
5. Scripps Florida scientists awarded $3 million to develop new, more effective pain treatments
6. Scientists learn how insects remodel their bodies between life stages
7. UF scientists name new ancient camels from Panama Canal excavation
8. MU scientists study how to improve pesticide efficiency
9. Southern insect scientists to meet in Little Rock
10. Emerge attracts futurists to collaborate with scientists, designers artists is redesign of future
11. Geological Society of America member scientists, students, and colleagues meet in Texas
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... released a new report titled, "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: ... how well the Department of Health and Human Services ... was issued in 2010. --> ... advances, but it also has the potential to pose ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 NXTD ) ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and buy ... smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the ... Huawei. --> --> ... Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced ... stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to ... (NOLs) under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code ... PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could be substantially limited ... in Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" ... p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast live and ... will also be available at the conference for one-on-one ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the ... has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA ... Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. ... AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome ...
Breaking Biology Technology: