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UCSF team closer to creating safe embryonic-like stem cells
Date:4/12/2009

e of species, from plants to animals.

Produced in the nucleus and released into the cytoplasm, microRNAs home in on messenger RNAs that share part of their genetic sequence. When they find them, they latch on, preventing the messenger RNA from being processed by the protein-making machines known as ribosomes. As such, microRNAs are able to ratchet down a cell's production of a given protein.

Currently, Blelloch and his colleagues are working to replace all four transcription factors with microRNAs and conducting experiments that will reveal the mechanism by which these small molecules are able to induce pluripotency. The team will also be looking to determine which microRNAs might be able to turn adult cells directly into particular adult cell types, by-passing the embryonic stem cell-like stage altogether.

"The goal now is to ensure the safety of induced pluripotent stem cells and to differentiate them into cells that can be used to repair damaged tissue and treat disease," he says.


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Contact: Jennifer OBrien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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