Navigation Links
MDC scientists show how hematopoietic stem cell development is regulated
Date:10/6/2009

During cell division, whether hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) will develop into new stem cells (self-renewal) or differentiate into other blood cells depends on a chemical process called DNA methylation. These were the findings of researchers at the laboratory of Dr. Frank Rosenbauer of the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch in cooperation with the laboratory of Professor Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen (Lund University, Sweden and the University of Oxford, England). Furthermore, the researchers showed that DNA methylation also plays a crucial role for cancer stem cells (Nature Genetics, online, doi: doi:10.1038/ng.463)*.

A group of three enzymes, the DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt) regulates the addition of methyl groups to the DNA (DNA methylation). One of these enzymes Dnmt1 is responsible for the maintenance of the marks with the methyl groups, the DNA methylation pattern, because the distribution of the methyl groups on the DNA decides which genes are transcribed and which are blocked. Researchers speak in this context of epigenetic information, in contrast to genetic information.

However, it was unclear until now whether DNA methylation plays a special role in the control of hematopoietic stem cell characteristics. From the HSCs all of the blood cells of the body are formed. Since blood cells have only a limited lifetime, the body must form new blood cells over and over again. The pool for this is generated by the HSCs.

In order to discover what function DNA methylation has for HSCs, the two doctoral students Ann-Marie Brske and Lena Vockentanz of the MDC research laboratory of Dr. Rosenbauer switched off the enzyme Dnmt1 in the mice. As a result, the animals were not viable because the hematopoietic stem cell function was completely disturbed.

By contrast, when the two researchers arranged that the HSCs formed just a little Dnmt1, the animals survived, but the HSCs lost their potential for self-renewal. Moreover, the HSCs were restricted in their formation of B cells and T cells (blood cells of the lymphatic system and important cells of the immune system).

However, the HSCs were able to form red blood cells, which are important for oxygen transport and belong to the blood cells of the myeloerythroid system. In other words, the DNA methylation level regulates which blood cell lineages develop or not from a hematopoietic stem cell.

Cancer stem cells

Methylation processes also play a role in numerous cancer diseases. As the MDC researchers were able to show, the DNA methylation by the enzyme Dnmt1 also controls the development of leukemic stem cells.

If the DNA methylation level is low, cancer stem cell renewal is restricted. Moreover, the formation of leukemic cells of B-cell lineage (acute B-cell leukemia ALL) is blocked.

The question is whether diseased stem cells can be switched off, possibly through a blockade of the enzyme Dnmt1. Dr. Rosenbauer and his research team want to make a more detailed investigation of this question in a further project.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Bachtler
bachtler@mdc-berlin.de
49-309-406-3896
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a leading ... a new solution aimed at combatting fraud, waste and ... was introduced at the Action on Disaster Relief conference ... meeting point for UN agencies and foreign assistance organizations ... Fraud, waste and abuse are a largely unacknowledged problem ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 24, 2017  It sounds simple and harmless—an ... monitors vital signs and alerts parents on their ... saturation level drops. But pediatric experts argue that ... with no evidence of medical benefits, especially to ... aggressively to parents of healthy babies, promising peace ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017 ... enhancing user experience and security for consumer electronics, ... next-generation payment processing systems and cybersecurity solutions, today ... banks, enterprises and financial institutions worldwide to bolster ... of the end-to-end secure user authentication platforms they ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 22, 2017  United Therapeutics ... its financial results for the fourth quarter and ... 2016 financial results reflect continued growth as net ... million," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics, Chairman ... our ability to develop and advance our growing ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... biotech research and development (R&D), today announced the establishment of Genedata Limited as ... Director Kevin Teburi, a recognized expert in life science informatics. Creating the UK ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... transformative design and manufacturing solutions for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) , today announced ... marks Creation Technologies’ third consecutive year winning in its category of electronics manufacturing ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... --  Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), one of the ... of the company,s management team will present at the ... Monday, March 6, 2017 at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern ... . The live, listen-only webcast ... investors section of the company,s website at ir.invitae.com ...
Breaking Biology Technology: