Navigation Links
Biologists develop efficient genetic modification of human embryonic stem cells
Date:1/7/2010

Biologists have developed an efficient way to genetically modify human embryonic stem cells. Their approach, which uses bacterial artificial chromosomes to swap in defective copies of genes, will make possible the rapid development of stem cell lines that can both serve as models for human genetic diseases and as testbeds on which to screen potential treatments, they say.

"This will help to open up the whole human embryonic stem cell field. Otherwise, there's really few efficient ways you can study genetics with them," said Yang Xu, professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego who directed the research. Xu and co-authors Hoseok Song and Sun-Ku Chung, both postdoctoral fellows in Xu's research group, describe their technique in the January 8 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Most attempts to alter the genetic makeup of the cells have proved too inefficient, Xu said. His group used bacterial artificial chromosomes, or BACs, to improve the yield.

BACs are synthesized circles of human DNA, which bacteria will replicate just like their own native chromosomes. Commercially available BACs can be modified within bacterial cells to insert altered copies of specific genes. Once the modified BACs are introduced into human cells, they will sometimes pair up with a matching segment of a human chromosome and swap segments of DNA, a process called homologous recombination.

The advantage of using BACS to alter the genetic code in human cells comes from the long flanking sequences on either side of the modified gene, which increases the chance that the BAC with line up with native DNA in position for a swap. Other genetic approaches have been limited by shorter segments of DNA.

Using BACs, the team was able to substitute modified genes in 20 percent of treated cells. Standard methods of genetic modification typically achieve modification in fewer than one percent of cells, Xu said.

His group successfully transferred a defective copy of the gene p53, which suppresses cancer, into a human embryonic stem cell line. By repeating the process in a second round, they developed a line of cells in which both copies of the genes were disrupted.

They also report success with a different gene, ATM, which when mutated in humans causes Ataxia-telangiectasia, a disease characterized by a host of systemic defects including increased cancer risk, degeneration of specific types of brain cells and degraded telomeres, the protective caps at the end of each chromosome.

Genetically engineered mice with two bad copies of the ATM gene share some of these traits with human patients, but not all. Neurons don't degenerate in ATM mice, for example, and the telomeres are long. "If you want to study accelerated shortening of telomeres, you can't do it in the mouse. You can only do it in human cells," Xu said.

Those differences propelled Xu's group to develop human cell lines instead, with the hope that some of the processes that go wrong in human patients could be studied in the lab. Already, they have demonstrated that their ATM-deficient embryonic stem cell line has damaged telomeres. Other characteristics, such as the degeneration of specific types of neurons, will be the subject of future experiments, Xu said.

The authors say their approach can easily be adapted to modify other human genes within other stem cells lines. For their initial work, Xu's group used a cell line that easily forms new colonies from single cells, but they also repeated the procedure in a cell line called H9, which has proved difficult to manipulate.

Because H9 was among the few cells lines approved for use by researchers funded by the federal government before new lines began to be approved in mid-December 2009, many researchers already have considerable experience with coaxing the cells into differentiating into specific types of tissues, for example, which would make the ability to genetically modify them particularly valuable.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yang Xu
scinews@ucsd.edu
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Biologists Question Animal Brain Size Theory
2. Where tumor cells boldly go: Weill Cornell cancer biologists shed light on the metastatic niche
3. Cell biologists identify new tumor suppressor for lung cancer
4. Microbiologists receive top Canadian recognition
5. Boston College biologists build a better mouse model for cancer research
6. Biologists Discover How Dengue Virus Matures
7. FDA clears TransOral robotic surgery developed at Penn
8. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million for Critical Step Toward Development of Dyskinesia Treatments
9. Nu-Tek Products Develops Cultured Soymilk Powder
10. Milton & DeKruif Launches New Client Development Campaign
11. Safety and Quality Software Developer Quantros, Inc. Launches Healthcare IT Consulting Division
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... it is so critically important that we all are aware of our options ... Mediaplanet is proud to announce the launch of its newest edition of "Vision ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and ... Bible Prophecy concerning this present generation. Yisrayl makes an astounding statement when he ... He explains that the Bible details the current times so plainly that anyone ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Congratulations to Head ... division on February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this prestigious status after ... held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately 25 gymnasts in ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the ... the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and ... Beach to host its Swirl: Miami Wine Tasting Event on March 28, 2017. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Rosica Communications, a national PR ... media management, corporate communications, SEO and cause marketing, is opening an office in ... Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, Rosica will focus on expanding its footprint. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 ITL Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), ... for the half year ended 31 December 2016 compared with the ... presentation can be viewed here . Highlights ... $1.04m; up 104%) Earnings per share of 2.2 ... of $17.5m (Dec 2015: $15.7m; up 11%) Profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Menopause ... ... Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data and ... questions: What are the key drugs marketed ... Global Menopause market? What are the unit prices and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Oesophageal ... their offering. ... The latest research Oesophageal Cancer Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - ... Cancer market. The research answers the following questions: ... Oesophageal Cancer and their clinical attributes? How are they positioned in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: