Navigation Links
Colorado researcher discovers mechanism for changing adult cells into stem-like cells
Date:10/7/2010

AURORA, Colo. (Oct. 7, 2010)In 2006, Dr. Shimya Yaminaka of Kyoto University in Japan set the stem cell and regenerative medicine research world on fire when he successfully transformed differentiated mouse skin cells into cells that looked and behave like embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells, the subject of much controversy when used in research, have the ability to differentiate into any type of tissue.

Yaminaka's creation of induced pluripotent stem cells [iPSCs] meant that in the future, research to improve human disease might be able to use iPSCs in lieu of embryonic stem cells. Since then, researchers around the world have been able to replicate his process. However, no one has been able to unlock the mechanism that allows cells to be regressed from differentiated to undifferentiated cellsuntil now.

University of Colorado Cancer Center researcher Chuan-Yuan Li, PhD, and his group have discovered that so-called "grim-reaper" caspase genes are the gatekeepers that can open the door to allow differentiated adult cells to regress to undifferentiated iPSCs.

"By doing experiments in which we added caspase inhibitor genes to the Yaminaka protocol, we discovered that when caspases are turned off, you cannot make IPSCs," says Li, professor of radiation oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "We were able to shut down the process almost completely."

The discovery is the cover article in the Oct. 8, 2010 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

"For practical reasons, the discovery is important because even though the transformation to iPSCs is a straightforward process on surface, it is not very efficient, and this information can help increase efficiency," Li says. "It can also help with the problem of cells that don't complete the transformation process acting like cancer cells. And from a purely scientific perspective, it is fascinating to understand why the magic happens."

Li's group had been working on the roles of caspases in wound healing when Yaminaka published his initial iPSC work in mice. That got Li thinking about potential roles of caspases in iPSC generation.

"I thought maybe caspases could also induce iPS cells instead of the four transcriptional factors that Yamanaka used," he says. "If that was true, it would be very exciting."

For six months, his group tried different experiments using various caspase genes to coax human skin cells into iPS cells, but they had no success. Although caspases were not sufficient to make iPS cells, Li kept going with the idea that caspases were somehow involved.

They made their discovery when they introduced the caspase inhibitors into skin cells, which almost completely shut down the induction of iPS cells.

Caspases, Li says, appear to loosen up the built-in controls that make a cell differentiated or undifferentiated, just like a clutch allows a driver to switch gears while driving. Undifferentiated stem-like cells and differentiated cells from one person have the exact same genes. The difference between them is which genes are turned on or off.

In other words, he says, caspases could be the key to a kind of cellular reincarnationtaking a cell that, during human development, became a skin cell back to its original state to become any kind of cell.

"About twenty years ago, a scientist who was among the first to clone the caspase 3 gene named the gene Yama, the Hindu Lord of Death who was responsible for both killing a being and setting him on his way into his reincarnated life," Li said. "It is now becoming clear that caspases don't just kill, but they can change the cell's fate. They could be a mediator of epigenetic changes in multi-cellular organisms."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. University of Colorado gets federal award for Cord Blood Bank
2. University of Colorado Denver Business School study shows failure better teacher than success
3. University of Colorado joins forces with major research affiliate
4. University of Colorado joins with major research firm to partner on stem cell research
5. Mission Critical Systems and Dress for Success Denver team up to train disadvantaged Colorado women
6. University of Colorado Hospital Moving Forward with $400 Million Expansion
7. Infant and Young Child Self-Rescue(TM) Swimming Program Coming to Northern Colorado
8. Homewatch CareGivers Show in Colorado is Next for SilverStone Group's In-Home Care Team
9. Skilled Colorado Plastic Surgeon Dr. Christopher G. Williams Earns Full Board Certification
10. Educational Toy Franchise Expects Continued Growth Throughout Colorado in 2010
11. Pew Report: Colorado on Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... Dr. Ronald E. Hawkins, vice president for academic affairs ... Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-dist., FACEP, as the new dean of Liberty ... to Liberty from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), where ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The narrative in “ Signal 8: ... ’s true account of his paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the tragedies he saw, as ... attempts to overcome them. , Schanssema, initially unsure of the career path he wanted ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... Indiana Fiber Network (IFN) President and CEO Kelly C. Dyer recently ... as the Chairman of the Management Committee when IFN was originally formed in 2002 ... of investor/owners and development of the business plan. He became the first paid ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Thinksport, the most ... Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin. For the second year in a row, cyclists ... sunscreen. , “We are thrilled to provide our safe, non-toxic sunscreen to over ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) is pleased ... KLS is a longtime supporter of the event. , "We are pleased that KLS ... Dr. Bob Havlik, 2017 ACPA President. "KLS Martin has a long track record of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... healthcare, will present at the Cowen and Company 37 ... Marriott Copley Place on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at ... webcast of the presentation can be accessed at ... following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  In conjunction with ... 2016 financial results press release, you are invited to ... live over the internet on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 ... A live audio webcast of the presentation ... www.durect.com and clicking "Investor Relations."  If you are ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24. Februar 2017 ITL Limited, ( ... Gesundheitsbereiches, ist erfreut, für das zum 31. Dezember ... Vorjahreszeitraum exzellente Ergebnisse vorlegen zu können. Eine vollständige ... Wachstum" finden Sie hier . ... Steuern 2,12 Millionen USD (Dez. 2015: 1,04 Millionen USD; +104 %) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: