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Researchers at Penn uncover mechanism behind blood stem cells' longevity
Date:11/26/2013

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The researchers believe these findings could eventually lead to the ability to regrow blood stem cells after chemotherapy treatments for blood cancers or even for growing blood products in the lab. Finding a drug that can temporarily shut down only the B form of myosin, while leaving the A form alone, would allow the stem cells to divide symmetrically and make more of themselves without preventing their progeny from dividing themselves.

"Nonetheless, the currently available drug that blocks both the A and B forms of myosin II could be useful in the clinic," Shin said, "because donor bone marrow cultures can now easily be enriched for blood stem cells, and those are the cells of interest in transplants. Understanding the forces that stem cells use to divide can thus be exploited to better control these important cells."


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Contact: Evan Lerner
elerner@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

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