Navigation Links
'Scrawny' gene keeps stem cells healthy
Date:1/6/2009

Baltimore, MDStem cells are the body's primal cells, retaining the youthful ability to develop into more specialized types of cells over many cycles of cell division. How do they do it? Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have identified a gene, named scrawny, that appears to be a key factor in keeping a variety of stem cells in their undifferentiated state. Understanding how stem cells maintain their potency has implications both for our knowledge of basic biology and also for medical applications. The results will be published in the January 9, 2009 print edition of Science.

"Our tissues and indeed our very lives depend on the continuous functioning of stem cells," says Allan C. Spradling, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology. "Yet we know little about the genes and molecular pathways that keep stem cells from turning into regular tissue cellsa process known as differentiation."

In the study, Spradling, with colleagues Michael Buszczak and Shelley Paterno, determined that the fruit fly gene scrawny (so named because of the appearance of mutant adult flies) modifies a specific chromosomal protein, histone H2B, used by cells to package DNA into chromosomes. By controlling the proteins that wrap the genes, scrawny can silence genes that would otherwise cause a generalized cell to differentiate into a specific type of cell, such as a skin or intestinal cell.

The researchers observed the effects of scrawny on every major type of stem cell found in fruit flies. In the experiments, mutant flies without functioning copies of the scrawny prematurely lost their stem cells in reproductive tissue, skin, and intestinal tissue.

Stem cells function as a repair system for the body. They maintain healthy tissues and organs by producing new cells to replenish dying cells and rebuild damaged tissues. "Losing stem cells represents the cellular equivalent of eating the seed corn," says Spradling.

While the scrawny gene has so far only been identified in fruit flies, very similar genes that may carry out the same function are known to be present in all multicellular organisms, including humans. The results of this study are an important step forward in stem cell research. "This new understanding of the role played by scrawny may make it easier to expand stem cell populations in culture, and to direct stem cell differentiation in desired directions," says Spradling.


'/>"/>

Contact: Allan Spradling
spradling@ciwemb.edu
410-246-3021
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A walk in the park a day keeps mental fatigue away
2. Candy-coating keeps proteins sweet
3. Scientists discover DNA knot keeps viral genes tightly corked inside shell
4. Genetic tag team keeps cells on cycle
5. NASA keeps eye on ozone layer amid Montreal Protocols success
6. Right breakfast bread keeps blood sugar in check all day
7. Scientists can now differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells
8. MIT develops new way to fuse cells
9. Grape-seed extract kills laboratory leukemia cells, proving value of natural compounds
10. Recipe for capturing authentic embryonic stem cells may apply to any mammal, study suggests
11. Hebrew University scientists reveal mechanism that triggers differentiation of embryo cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market ... CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. ... for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented ... The stem cell market of the product is segmented ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech firm, PathSensors, announced that its ... developing and issuing recommendations to grow Maryland's biohealth industry and position the state ... , The recommendations are contained in a report from the Maryland ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... In response to the strong base of evidence ... Inc. announces the release of their Gait Trainer 3 with an Integrated Music Therapy ... system to aid in rehabilitating individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, ... has doubled in size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses ... joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... USDM ... firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is honored that Jay ... Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. , Crowley played a crucial role in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: