Navigation Links
Mending a broken heart -- with a molecule that turns stem cells into heart cells
Date:8/2/2012

LA JOLLA, Calif., August 2, 2012 For years, scientists have been looking for a good source of heart cells that can be used to study cardiac function in the lab, or perhaps even to replace diseased or damaged tissue in heart disease patients. To do this, many are looking to stem cells. Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), the Human BioMolecular Research Institute, and ChemRegen, Inc. have been searching for molecules that convert stem cells to heart cells for about eight yearsand now they've found one. Writing in the August 3 issue of Cell Stem Cell, the team describes how they sifted through a large collection of drug-like chemicals and uncovered ITD-1, a molecule that can be used to generate unlimited numbers of new heart cells from stem cells.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country. Because we can't replace lost cardiac muscle, the condition irreversibly leads to a decline in heart function and ultimately death. The only way to effectively replace lost heart muscle cellscalled cardiomyocytesis to transplant the entire heart," said Mark Mercola, Ph.D., director of Sanford-Burnham's Muscle Development and Regeneration Program and senior author of the study. "Using a drug to create new heart muscle from stem cells would be far more appealing than heart transplantation."

Searching for a needle in a haystack

Stem cells are important because they do two unique things1) self-renew, producing more stem cells and 2) differentiate, becoming other, more specialized cell types. To obtain a large number of a certain cell type, such as heart cells, the hard part is figuring out the signals that direct them to become the desired cell type.

Mercola's group has been hunting for heart-inducing signals for 15 yearsin embryos and in stem cells. To find a synthetic molecule that might one day lead to a drug therapy to regenerate the heart, they joined forces with a team of medicinal chemists at the Human BioMolecular Research Institute led by John Cashman, Ph.D. With funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, they used sophisticated robotic technology to methodically test a large collection of drug-like chemicals, looking for that needle in a haystack that, when added to stem cells, results in cardiomyocytes. The winning compound was ITD-1.

Therapeutic applications

There's no shortage of therapeutic possibilities for ITD-1. "This particular molecule could be useful to enhance stem cell differentiation in a damaged heart," explained Erik Willems, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher in Mercola's lab and first author of the study. "At some point, it could become the basis for a new therapeutic drug for cardiovascular diseaseone that would likely limit scar spreading in heart failure and promote new muscle formation."

Mercola, Willems, and Cashman are now working with San Diego biotech company ChemRegen, Inc. to further develop ITD-1 into a drug that one day might be used to treat patients.

More scientific detail

The researchers discovered that ITD-1 blocks a cellular process known as TGFϐ signaling. TGFϐ (short for transforming growth factor-ϐ) is a protein produced by one cell type to influence others' behaviors, such as proliferation, scarring, and even stem cell differentiation. TGFϐ works from outside the cell, binding to a receptor on the surface of a responding cell to initiate an intracellular signaling cascade that causes genes to be switched on or off, ultimately altering cellular behaviorin this case making heart muscle.

ITD-1 triggers degradation of the TGFϐ receptor, thus inhibiting the whole process. With TGFϐ signaling turned off, stem cells are set on a course toward cardiogenesis. ITD-1 is the first selective inhibitor of TGFϐ, meaning that it might also have applications in many other processes controlled by TGFϐ.


'/>"/>
Contact: Heather Buschman, Ph.D.
hbuschman@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5343
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Hong Kong Department of Health to Combat Sudden Cardiac Arrest With Powerheart AEDs
2. GenWay Biotech Launches New Cardiovascular Diagnostic Blood Test at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2011
3. Post Heart Attack Recovery Not Aided By Stem Cell Injections, But Trial Demonstrates Promise
4. Gundersen Lutheran Offers Heart Surgery with Less Pain, Faster Recovery
5. LoneStar Heart Acquires Worldwide Exclusive Rights to New Class of Small Molecules That May Lead to New Treatments for Diabetes
6. Slovenias 1st Total Artificial Heart Patient Discharged from UMC Ljubljana Using the Freedom® Portable Driver
7. New Data Shows GeNO LLC Nitric Oxide Delivery System Provided Nitric Oxide With Low Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide for Heart Transplant Patient Evaluation
8. Scientists develop new technique that could improve heart attack prediction
9. Magnet helps target transplanted iron-loaded cells to key areas of heart
10. Top 10 “Best Children’s Hospitals” Include 3 Pediatric Centers Offering SynCardia Total Artificial Heart
11. The PROOF Centre of Excellence Partners with OriGene Technologies on Heart & Kidney Transplant Biomarker Program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mending a broken heart -- with a molecule that turns stem cells into heart cells
(Date:1/17/2017)... Ind. , Jan. 17, 2017  Zimmer Biomet ... fourth quarter and full-year 2016 sales and earnings conference ... Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.  ... will be made available at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time ... live audio webcast can be accessed via Zimmer Biomet,s ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Northwell Health ... the advance of precision cancer research. ... largest health care provider, Northwell Health diagnoses ... Indivumed, GmbH is a Germany ... medical therapies. Together they will greatly expand cancer ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... epigenetics research, recently announced a collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and the ... for library preparation, following the company’s successful launch of its CATS (Capture ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... prestigious Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Tibbetts ... significant economic or social impact […] and are considered the best of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:12/22/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016  As part of its longstanding ... leading personal genetics company, recently released its latest children,s book, ... The book focuses on the topics of inheritance and variation ... Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in the US. ... series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose previous book ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... RALEIGH, N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 ... performance biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today ... scalable development kit for biometric wearables that includes ... integrated with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... 2021" report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in ... 14.06% from 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be ... Million by 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):