Navigation Links
Hebrew University research carries cautionary warning for future stem cell applications
Date:11/22/2010

Jerusalem, November 21, 2010 Research work carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem arouses a cautionary warning in the growing field of the development of stem cells as a means for future treatment of patients through replacement of diseased or damaged tissues by using the patient's own stem cells. The research indicates a possible danger of cancerous tissue development in the use of such cells.

Embryonic stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells, have the potential to develop into all cell types of the adult body, and thousands of researchers all over the world are working to develop the techniques which will make possible their eventual application.

Research in the field has been carried out initially using embryonic stem cells taken from human embryos. However, a breakthrough occurred when, a number of years ago, Japanese scientists succeeded in creating embryonic-like stem cells from mature human cells through an induced "reprogramming" process. This made it possible to obtain stem cells from a patient which can be used in his or her own treatment, thus avoiding the possibility of cell rejection. These cells are called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

In order for stem cells to be used in the clinic, however, they must be raised in cultures for an extended period. During this period, it has been observed that embryonic stems cells underwent chromosomal changes, which included changes that characterize cancerous tumor growth.

Research that has been carried out in the laboratory headed by Nissm Benvenisty, the Herbert Cohn Professor of Cancer Research at the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has now shown that the iPS cells also undergo abnormal chromosomal changes in culture.

Prof. Benvenisty, together with his post-doctoral fellow Yoav Mayshar and his doctoral student Uri Ben-David, developed a new analytical method for determining the genetic structure of the chromosomes in the iPS cells through determining the cellular patterns of gene expression.

Each cell generally bears two copies of each chromosome in the genome. The Hebrew University researchers discovered that, in time, three copies of chromosomes (trisomy) began to appear in the culture, and that the cells with the extra chromosome were able to rapidly overpower the other, normal cells in the culture. Such trisomies are present in abnormal tissue development, including cancerous growths.

The researchers examined over 100 cell lines which were published by 18 different laboratories around the world, in addition to the iPS cultures raised in their own laboratory, and in this way were able to solidly verify a great number of chromosomal changes in cell lines that until now were considered normal.

In an article published in Cell Stem Cell journal, the Hebrew University researchers have reported their discovery. They noted that the chromosomal changes were not incidental, but rather appeared systematically on chromosome 12 and involved up-regulation of specific genes which reside on that chromosome. This discovery is liable to hinder progress on the development of the use of human iPS cells in future therapy because of the tumorigenic danger involved.

"Our findings show that human iPS cells are not stable in culture, as was previously thought, and require reassessment of the chromosomal structure of these cells," said Prof. Benvenisty. "Also, our work shows for the first time the gene expression changes that accompany these chromosomal aberrations found in the culture, paving the way for our beginning to understand the mechanism by which these changes occur.

"The chromosomal changes in these iPS cells require everyone to exercise great care in continuing to work with them, since these changes apparently will influence the differentiation potential and the tumorigenic risk of these cells."

According to Prof. Benvenisty, "The method we have developed for identifying chromosomal changes through gene expression is likely to serve also in other work involving analysis of different kinds of cells, including cancer cells. It is relatively simple to use and enables one to observe the changes without having to directly analyze the DNA of the cells." The discovery is patented by Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is currently searching for commercial partners for further research and development.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Unlike us, honeybees naturally make quick switch in their biological clocks, says Hebrew University researcher
2. Hebrew University research holds promise for development of new osteoporosis drug
3. How algae enslavement threatens freshwater bodies described by Hebrew University researcher
4. Hebrew University researchers identify gene related to chronic pain
5. Research on stem cells wins first prize for Hebrew University researcher
6. JDRF, Pfizer, Hadassah Medical and the Hebrew University announce collaboration
7. Hebrew University, American researchers show trigger to stem cell differentiation
8. Regulatory role of key molecule discovered at Hebrew U.
9. Alert status area in brain discoved by Hebrew University scientists
10. Ben-Gurion U. developing new computer techniques to analyze historic Hebrew and Arabic documents
11. Hebrew U. researchers shed light on the brain mechanism responsible for processing of speech
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Hebrew University research carries cautionary warning for future stem cell applications
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... has priced an offering of €500.0 million principal amount of ... principal amount of its 2.425% senior unsecured notes due 2026. ... to occur on December 13, 2016, subject to the satisfaction of ... annual basis. The Company intends ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... DALLAS , Dec. 6, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... (PEP) jointly announced today a five (5) year ... exclusive agreement to expand the rehabilitation and reentry ... PEP History Established in 2004, the Prison ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 1, 2016 ... (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle ... - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... Million in 2016, and is projected to grow ... CAGR of 14.06%.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: ... focused on developing and commercializing products to treat rare ... today that it will be hosting an Investor Webcast ... on the origins of innate defense regulators (IDRs) as ... of oral mucositis and the recently announced and published ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today ... (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included ... Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings ... KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... its phase I/II dose escalation and expansion clinical trial for its lead drug ... Austria. The purpose of the trial was to determine the safety, antitumor activity, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016 Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG ... Kephart as its chief science officer — a ... responsibilities at Neogen effective Jan. 1. Kephart ... agribusiness unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, as well as ... His extensive industry experience also includes the management of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: