Navigation Links
Hormel Institute study makes key finding in stem cell self-renewal
Date:2/6/2012

A University of Minnesota-led research team has proposed a mechanism for the control of whether embryonic stem cells continue to proliferate and stay stem cells, or differentiate into adult cells like brain, liver or skin.

The work has implications in two areas. In cancer treatment, it is desirable to inhibit cell proliferation. But to grow adult stem cells for transplantation to victims of injury or disease, it would be desirable to sustain proliferation until a sufficient number of cells have been produced to make a usable organ or tissue.

The study gives researchers a handle on how those two competing processes might be controlled. It was performed at the university's Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., using mouse stem cells. The researchers, led by Hormel Institute Executive Director Zigang Dong and Associate Director Ann M. Bode, have published a report in the journal Nature Structure and Molecular Biology.

"This is breakthrough research and provides the molecular basis for development of regenerative medicine," said Dong. "This research will aid in the development of the next generation of drugs that make repairs and regeneration within the body possible following damage by such factors as cancer, aging, heart disease, diabetes, or paralysis caused by traumatic injury."

The mechanism centers on a protein called Klf4, which is found in embryonic stem cells and whose activities include keeping those cells dividing and proliferating rather than differentiating. That is, Klf4 maintains the character of the stem cells; this process is called self-renewal. The researchers discovered that two enzymes, called ERK1 and ERK2, inactivate Klf; this allows the cells to begin differentiating into adult cells.

The two enzymes are part of a "bucket brigade" of signals that starts when a chemical messenger arrives from outside the embryonic stem cells. Chemical messages are passed to inside the cells, resulting in, among other things, the two enzymes swinging into action.

The researchers also discovered how the enzymes control Klf4. They attach a small molecule--phosphate, consisting of phosphorus and oxygen--to Klf4. This "tag" marks it for destruction by the cellular machinery that recycles proteins.

Further, they found that suppressing the activity of the two enzymes allows the stem cells to maintain their self-renewal and resist differentiation. Taken together, their findings paint a picture of the ERK1 and ERK2 enzymes as major players in deciding the future of embryonic stem cells--and potentially cancer cells, whose rapid growth mirrors the behavior of the stem cells.

Klf4 is one of several factors used to reprogram certain adult skin cells to become a form of stem cells called iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, which behave similarly to embryonic stem cells. Also, many studies have shown that Klf4 can either activate or repress the functioning of genes and, in certain contexts, act as either an oncogene (that promotes cancer) or a tumor suppressor. Given these and their own findings reported here, the Hormel Institute researchers suggest that the self-renewal program of cancer cells might resemble that of embryonic stem cells.

"Although the functions of Klf4 in cancer are controversial, several reports suggest Klf4 is involved in human cancer development," Bode said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@umn.edu
612-626-1720
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Hormel Institute study reveals capsaicin can act as cocarcinogen
2. Medical Training School, Pima Medical Institute Offering First Bachelor's Degree Program
3. Dana-Farber and Sanford-Burnham Institute license flu-targeting antibodies to Genentech and Roche
4. Laser Spine Institute Honored at the Gridiron Greats Night of Champions
5. Akron Institute of Herzing University Launches Its First Bachelors Degree Programs to Prepare Students for Even Greater Success in Business, Health Care and IT
6. Carpet and Rug Institute Expands Seal of Approval Program
7. San Diego State University and BIOCOM Institute Receive $4.95 Million Grant: The BRIDGE Project, Linking Education to Employment in San Diegos Life Sciences Industry
8. Northern California Cancer Center Changes Name to Cancer Prevention Institute of California
9. ChildCare Education Institute Supports the First Ladys Efforts to Reduce Childhood Obesity
10. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Revamps Web Site
11. JBG to Develop Major Research Campus for National Cancer Institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Gensuite is honored to ... the Best New Product Launch category. Gensuite’s entry on their EZ Scan feature ... Global Events & Training Group is a professional event and training provider based ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... ... “The Road To Restoration”: an informative and enlightening book for those ... showing of hands. “The Road To Restoration” is the creation of published author, Thomas ... brass ring that you could reach out for, and grab, on the old carousels. ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... “Fred Rides a Train” allows readers to tag ... , “Fred Rides a Train” is the creation of published author, Janet Morrison, who ... years in Michigan. The "Fred, the Dog" series is her first attempt at writing ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Dr. Greg Leyer, the Chief Scientific Officer ... DC workshop on November 2nd. The conference was an opportunity for both probiotic ... regulations. , Dr. Leyer spoke about two main topics at the IPA ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... in their brain networks that can be seen on a type of MRI, ... (PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... Kan. , Dec. 7, 2016   Rx Savings ... West Virginia and its Public Employees Insurance Agency ... members access to their innovative healthcare software, ultimately saving money ... with PEIA and provide its members with access to our ... or a more effective, affordable therapy can be found," says ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... previously announced plans to separate its Imaging Components business.  ... tax-free distribution to Varian stockholders of common stock in ... will hold the Imaging Components business.  As part of ... by the end of January 2017, Varian will receive ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7,2016  Based on its recent analysis ... & Sullivan recognizes Nemaura Pharma Limited with ... for Enabling Technology Leadership. Nemaura Pharma,s transdermal ... traditional drug delivery technologies, especially in delivering ... delivery technologies, Memspatch and Micropatch respectively, facilitate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: