Navigation Links
A new link between stem cells and tumors

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Institute of Biomedical Research of the Parc Cient�fic de Barcelona (IRB-PCB) have now added key evidence to claims that some types of cancer originate with defects in stem cells. The study, reported this week in the on-line edition of Nature Genetics (September 4) shows that if key molecules aren't placed in the right locations within stem cells before they divide, the result can be deadly tumors.

Cells in the very early embryo are interchangeable and undergo rapid division. Soon, however, they begin differentiating into more specific types, finally becoming specialized cells like neurons, blood, or muscle. As they differentiate, they should stop dividing and usually become embedded in particular tissues. Some tumor cells are more like stem cells because they are identical, they divide quickly, and in the worst case ?metastasize ?they wander through the body and implant themselves in new tissues.

Specialized cells may die through age or injuries, so the body keeps stocks of stem cells on hand to generate replacements. Usually the stem cell divides into two types: one that is just like the parent, which is kept to maintain the stock, and another that differentiates. This is what happens with neuroblasts. Cell division creates one large neuroblast and a smaller cell that can become part of a nerve. This process is controlled by events that happen prior to division. The parent cell becomes asymmetrical: it collects a set of special molecules, including Prospero and other proteins, in the area that will bud off and become the specialized cell.

"This asymmetry provides the new cell with molecules it needs to launch new genetic programs that tell it what to become," says Cayetano Gonz�lez, whose group began the project at EMBL and has continued the work as they moved to the IRBB-PCB. "The current study investigates what happens when the process of localizi ng these molecules is disturbed."

Whether Prospero and its partners get to the right place depends on the activity of specific genes in the stem cell. EMBL PhD student Emmanuel Caussinus from Gonz�lez's group created neuroblasts in which these genes were disrupted. "We no longer had normal neuroblasts and daughter cells capable of becoming part of a nerve," Caussinus says. "Instead, we had a tumor."

When these altered cells were transplanted into flies, the results were swift and dramatic. The tissue containing the altered cells grew to 100 times its initial size; cells invaded other tissues, and death followed. The growing tumor became "immortal", Caussinus says; cells could be retransplanted into new hosts for years, generation after generation, with similar effects.

The study proves that specific genes in stem cells ?those which control the fates of daughter cells ?are crucial. If such genes are disrupted, the new cells may no longer be able to control their reproduction, and this could lead to cancer. "It puts the focus on the events that create asymmetrical collections of molecules inside stem cells," Gonz�lez says. "This suggests new lines of investigation into the relationship between stem cells and tumors in other model organisms and humans."


'"/>

Source:European Molecular Biology Laboratory


Related biology news :

1. Variation in womens X chromosomes may explain differences among individuals, between sexes
2. Edible bivalves as a source of human pathogens: signals between vibrios and the bivalve host.
3. Study reveals dramatic difference between breast cancers in US and Africa
4. Molecular fossils uncover link between viruses and the immune system
5. Research may provide new link between soft drinks and weight gain
6. A new molecule discovered in the battle between plants and disease
7. Underground tunnels discovered as means for communication between immune system cells
8. New discovery blurs distinction between human cells and those of bacteria
9. Plants discriminate between self and non self
10. Genetic link confirmed between Polynesians and indigenous Taiwanese
11. European Commission funds EBI to do new research on synergies between bioinformatics and medical informatics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Federal funding for basic and ... enabler of life-saving medical and other vital technologies — deserves continued support, say leaders ... in the scientific community today in responding to the President’s budget request for Fiscal ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... A recent survey conducted by ... and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, ... scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the second conducted ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... A new Technology Hot Topics ... this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum devices, graphene electronic tattoo sensors, ... Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, will run 6-10 ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface ... molecules, can cause diverse pathologies ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections to gum ... is in the tens of billions of dollars per year, there is currently a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: