Navigation Links
When is a stem cell not really a stem cell?
Date:8/26/2007

Working with embryonic mouse brains, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists seems to have discovered an almost-too-easy way to distinguish between true neural stem cells and similar, but less potent versions. Their finding, reported this week in Nature, could simplify the isolation of stem cells not only from brain but also other body tissues.

What the researchers identified is a specific protein signal that appears to prevent neural stem cells the sort that might be used to rebuild a damaged nervous system from taking their first step toward becoming neurons. Stem cells dont instantly convert into functional adult tissue, says author Nicholas Gaiano, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Institute for Cell Engineering. They undergo a stepwise maturation where they gradually shed their stem cell properties.

The first step turns stem cells into progenitor cells by dictating how signals downstream of a protein called Notch, which regulates stem cells in many different tissues, are transmitted. One well known target of Notch is a protein called CBF1. To help study Notch signaling further, Gaiano and his team created genetically engineered mouse embryos that glow green when CBF1 is turned on.

To their surprise, they noticed that during brain development some of the brain cells generally thought to be neural stem cells stopped glowing, indicating that the CBF1 protein was no longer active in them. A closer look revealed that those cells that went dark were in fact no longer true neural stem cells, which can form all major brain cell types, but instead had aged into progenitor cells, which form mostly neurons.

They tested whether CBF1 was the critical switch by chemically knocking out the protein in neural stem cells. The knockout got the stem cells to rapidly convert to progenitor cells. However, if we activated the CBF1 protein in progenitor cells we couldnt get them to shift back into stem cells, says Gaiano. So whatever happens biochemically once CBF1 is turned off seems to create a one-way street.

Another recent study, using the mouse line generated by the Gaiano group, found that CBF1 signaling may play the same role in blood stem cells, leading Gaiano to suspect that his teams discovery might be a general switch distinguishing stem cells from progenitors in many different tissues.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagors1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
2. Researchers seek to discover what really happens when a virus enters the body
3. What does the public really know about HPV?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... 18, 2016 --> ... ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance ... in the border security market and the continuing migration crisis ... Europe has led visiongain to publish this ... --> defence & security companies in the ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the ... the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its ... investors. ... electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2016)... 6, 2016 According to a new ... Market for Group A Streptococcus (GAS) Nucleic Acid (NA) Test ... and Forecast, 2015 - 2023 ", the Europe ... nucleic acid (NA) test products market was valued at US$ ... a CAGR of 11.6% from 2015 to 2023 to reach ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... This June 3-6, ... As an exclusive sales and service provider of the ALPINION line, reps will ... the premier conference for healthcare technology management. The event draws more than 2,200 biomedical ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... X. Powers and Lorna Weir launching ... atypical, un-agency way? Because they believe that truly helping ... dynamic world of healthcare now demands a different type ... multidisciplinary strategy lab serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Looking for a ... Diego’s premiere hands-on cooking experience. Offering everything from gourmet cooking classes to weekend ... won’t forget. , Guests that visit LaJollaCooks4u share an experience unlike any other. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: