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MicroRNA cocktail helps turn skin cells into stem cells
Date:2/2/2011

led Tgfbr2 and p21, which slow up the path to iPS cells by halting the cell cycle the cell's process of duplicating its DNA and dividing into two identical "daughter" cells and promoting cell death.

Not only does this finding reveal more about the genetic underpinnings of iPS cell formation, but the researchers took advantage of this new information to speed up the process. When they added extra miR-93 and miR-106b to skin cells, Tgfbr2 and p21 were blocked, more cells survived, and iPS cells were more readily obtained.

"In some respects, this work may be regarded as a landmark contribution to the field of stem cell biology in general and cellular reprogramming in particular," said Evan Y. Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., director of Sanford-Burnham's Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology program. "Up until now, cellular differentiation and de-differentiation has focused principally on the expression of genes; this work indicates that the strategic non-expression of genes may be equally important. The work has demonstrated that miRNAs do function in the reprogramming process and that the generation of iPSCs can be greatly enhanced by modulating miRNA action. In addition to helping us generate better tools for the stem cell field, such findings inevitably facilitate our understanding of normal and abnormal stem cell behavior during development and in disease states."


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Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5236
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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