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:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted ... quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share ... operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems Inc. ... (AGI), based out of Maple Ridge, ... Ltd. to its existing portfolio of contract manufacturing ... AFS along with its sister companies Surround Technologies ... vertically integrated industrial group that specializes in providing ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... May 19, 2016 - I ... orale durante il 52 ° ...    - Le conclusioni dello studio indicano ... pazienti trattati, di cui il 90% presenta una d ... o più. Il settantadue per cento dei pazienti ha riscontrato ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that ... processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , Sexual Assault kits are ... and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack of tools, many forensic ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... Haselmeier announces the launch by ... by EMA, the European Medicines Agency. Originally launched in ... the new pen version includes enhancements to further improve ... to patients during use. Its enhanced design ... handle with a larger display window that improves the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: