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Signaling molecule may help stem cells focus on making bone despite age, disease
Date:3/8/2013

pathway, autophagy, was up-regulated in stem cells. "We started thinking, if SDF-1 is secreted here in response to low oxygen, it must be important in cell survival," said Hill and the researchers became the first to put the pieces together.

Cell survival and its antithesis, apoptosis, are both tightly regulated and necessary, Herberg notes. And, in excess, both can be deadly. In fact, cancer therapies are under study that block autophagy with the idea of making cancer more vulnerable to chemotherapy. One of SDF-1's major roles is helping the body properly assemble during development. It's produced by stem cells and found in high levels in the lungs and bones. MCG researchers are looking for other sources of SDF-1 production in the body and how those might change with age.

Bone formation tends to decrease at about age 60, notes Isales, principal investigator on the $6.3 million Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health that funded the study.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@gru.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
Source:Eurekalert  

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