Navigation Links
Trio of signals converge to induce liver and pancreas cell development in the embryo
Date:6/26/2009

PHILADELPHIA - Understanding the molecular signals that guide early cells in the embryo to develop into different organs provides insight into ways that tissues regenerate and how stem cells can be used for new therapies. With regenerated cells, researchers hope to one day fill the acute shortage in pancreatic and liver tissue available for transplantation in cases of type I diabetes and acute liver failure.

Previous studies on pancreas and liver development have focused on individual molecular signals that induce these tissues to mature from a common precursor cell population. In a new study, published this week in Science, researchers investigated a trio of cell-signaling pathways that work simultaneously, converging to direct pancreas and liver progenitor cells to mature into their final state. They looked at how BMP, TGF-beta, and FGF signaling pathways turn on genes that guide cells to ultimately become pancreas or liver tissue.

The structure of the cell-signaling network provides insight into the basis of tissue development and how it can be manipulated to facilitate pancreas and liver-cell regeneration and development from embryonic stem cells.

"For my entire scientific life, I've been intrigued by how cells early in development make 'decisions' to turn on one genetic program and exclude others," says Kenneth S. Zaret, PhD, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Associate Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The work was conducted while Zaret and co-author Ewa Wandzioch, PhD, Research Associate in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, were at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

How the developing embryo starts to apportion different functions to different cell types is a key question for developmental biology and regenerative medicine.

Guidance along the correct path is provided by genetic regulatory proteins that attach to chromosomes, marking part of the genome to be turned on or off. But first the two meters of tightly coiled DNA inside the nucleus of every cell must be loosened a bit. The regulatory proteins help with this, exposing a small domain near the target gene. They then act as a landing pad on which other proteins assemble to continue the gene activation process.

The Science paper addresses how chemical signals from neighboring cells in the embryo tell early progenitor cells to activate genes encoding the regulatory proteins. The regulatory proteins, in turn, guide the cells to become a liver cell or a pancreas cell. "In the current study we mapped the signaling pathways being turned on before they connected with the target genes," explains Zaret. "We monitored these cues before the cell displayed any overt signs of differentiation. While my lab and others had previously looked at individual signals that influence development, in this paper we simultaneously mapped three signal paths that converge to induce liver and pancreas cells. We're starting to construct a network of the common signals that govern development of these specific cell types. The complexity of this system is somewhat like our 26-letter alphabet being able to encode Shakespeare or a menu at a restaurant."

Many investigators are now trying to broadly reprogram cells into desired cell fates for potential therapeutic uses. "By better understanding how a cell is normally programmed we will eventually be able to directly reprogram other cells," notes Zaret. "An analogy I use here is if a watch is broken and you want to know how to reassemble it, the best thing is to go the factory and see how it is assembled in the first place. That may not be the solution to fixing it, but it's a good place to start."

In the near term, the team also aims to generate liver and pancreas cells for research and to screen drugs that repair defects or facilitate cell growth.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Regulation of cell proliferation by the OGF-OGFr axis is dependent on nuclear localization signals
2. Signals from stroking have direct route to brain
3. Novel electric signals in plants
4. Streamlining brain signals for speed and efficacy
5. Atomic-resolution views suggest function of enzyme that regulates light-detecting signals in eye
6. Millisecond brain signals predict response to fast-acting antidepressant
7. Signals from the Atlantic salmon highway
8. Crossed (evolutionary) signals?
9. Its a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger male behavior
10. Presence of certain antibodies signals healthier teeth and gums
11. Cell response to stress signals predicts tumors in women with common pre-breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Trio of signals converge to induce liver and pancreas cell development in the embryo
(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)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes of the evolving air ... living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related diseases. , That is ... globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I had to take action ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San ... part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is ... reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and ... San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their ... 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, ... ... risk management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences ... the BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP ...
Breaking Biology Technology: