Navigation Links
Singapore scientists first to perform genome-wide study of human stem cells
Date:10/18/2010

A team of scientists from Singapore led by the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), two biomedical research institutes of Singapore's Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have discovered the most important genes in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a crucial breakthrough in discovering how human stem cells work. Their research, published in top scientific journal Nature, is the first ever genome-wide study of human stem cells on such a massive scale, and its results are crucial in understanding how stem cells may one day be used to treat debilitating conditions such as Parkinson's disease and traumatic spinal injury.

GIS Senior Group Leader for Stem Cell and Development Biology and Associate Director for Biology Dr Ng Huck Hui, and IMCB Principal Investigator Dr Frederic Bard combined the strengths of their teams to investigate the 21,000 genes in the entire human genome to find those which regulate the two characteristic properties of hESCs the capacity to turn into any type of cell in the human body (pluripotency), and the ability to retain that capacity indefinitely. Out of the several key genes they identified, a particular gene known as PRDM14 was discovered to make it easier to turn a type of human cell (fibroblasts) into pluripotent stem cells. The discoveries contribute to a fundamental understanding of the nature of stem cells and helps efforts to improve techniques to turn mature adult cells into hESCs.

In addition, the scientists found that PRDM14 played a key role in hESCs, but not in mouse ESCs. This significant new finding highlights the fundamental differences between stem cells from different species, and highlights the greater need to use human cells in stem cell research.

"Very little is known about the molecular machines that drive stem cell states or the transcriptional profiles of hESCs. Our study helps to build a better understanding of hESCs and this will help in the development of technologies to further the utilities of these cells such as their potential to be used for clinical and therapeutic applications," said Dr Ng. "Dr Bard's scientific expertise was invaluable in helping us crack another piece of the stem cell puzzle. I definitely look forward to collaborating with him on more projects that aim to peel away the mysteries surrounding stem cells" he added.

Dr Alan Colman, Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium, said, "Huck Hui Ng and his colleagues continue to keep Singapore at the top table of countries plundering the secrets of human embryonic stem cell regulation. This time they have deployed the first genome-wide functional screen to identify factors that maintain 'stemness' in these cells and yet again reveal major differences between mouse and human embryonic stem cells in the control of this important property."

Senior Scientist at the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Dr Janet Rossant added, "The unprecedented scale of this screen has added considerable new information to our understanding of pluripotency and will help efforts to improve reprogramming of adult cells."

Professor Lee Eng Hin, Executive Director of the Biomedical Research Council, A*STAR, applauded the discovery and said, "This is an examplar of a great cross institutional collaboration. The combined strength of stem cell and genomics experts has led to a great piece of world-class work. I hope to see more of such valuable partnerships in the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joshua Tan
joshua_tan@a-star.edu.sg
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Singapore hosts first Decade of the Mind conference in Asia
2. Clinical management of osteoporosis to be focus of Singapore meeting
3. NTU gets GreenLite for Singapores first truly eco-friendly bus
4. Singapore scientists exploit knowledge of p53 for increasing specificity of cancer treatments
5. Singapore program to provide clinical insight; showcase for regional research
6. Singapore scientists join international study of 10,000 vertebrates genomes
7. MINDEF, NTU join hands to boost Singapores defense R&D capabilities
8. New Singapore-France research alliance to develop state-of-the-art nanotechnologies
9. Facile synthesis of nanoparticles with multiple functions advanced in Singapore
10. Singapore nanotechnology combats fatal brain infections
11. Singapore scientists elected into National Academy of Sciences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of ... their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been ... Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: