Using proteins to multiply stem cells
To produce large quantities of hematopoietic stem cells in the laboratory, Dr. Sauvageau's team identified 10 proteins out of 700 candidates. These 10 proteins are naturally present in hematopoietic stem cells and researchers can use each of them to force these cells to multiply in the laboratory. "The next step is to verify whether this also works in humans. Everything is already in place," Guy Sauvageau pointed out. These tests will be conducted at Montreal's Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, one of the leading centres in Canada where stem cell transplants are performed. "If only one of the ten proteins allows hematopoietic stem cells to be multiplied in humans, we will be able to obtain the quantities of cells necessary to perform transplants. It will then be possible to say "mission accomplished"."
Researchers around the world are currently trying to harness the regenerative power of other types of stem cells to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's or diabetes. IRIC's research could also help them achieve their goal.
The work of Dr. Sauvageau's team has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the findings are being published today in the prestigious scientific journal Cell.
|Contact: Carolyne Lord|
University of Montreal