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Chromosomal variations found in early passage female embryonic stem cells
Date:6/25/2010

Human embryonic stem cells hold great promise for studying and treating disease and for the practice of regenerative medicine. However, more must be learned to ensure the cells that may one day be transplanted into humans are safe.

In one of many safety-related studies going on worldwide, scientists at the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center have uncovered that variations in X chromosome inactivation take place in very early passages of female human embryonic stem cells lines, information that will play an important role in ensuring the safety of cells grown for therapeutic use and a discovery that also may have implications in the development of cancer.

Chromosomal and genetic variations found in human embryonic stem cells lines have been attributed, in large part, to the various culture conditions in which they're grown, said Tamar Dvash, first author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA.

However, the work by the Broad Stem Cell Research Center scientists reveals that very early in their growth, female human embryonic stem cells already show variation in the inactivation of the X chromosome.

"It suggests that culture conditions and methods in the derivation of human embryonic stem cells could be further improved to achieve a uniform pattern of X chromosome inactivation," said Guoping Fan, an associate professor of human genetics and senior author of the study.

The study is published June 25, 2010 in the early online edition of the journal PLoS ONE, a publication of the Public Library of Science.

All female cells have two X chromosomes and in early development, one X chromosome is permanently inactivated. The X chromosome inactivation ensures that females, like males, have one functional copy of the X chromosome in each body cell and that the cells develop normally. If the second X chromosome is not inactivated, the result could be disease development, including some cancers in whic
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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