About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Scientists Identify Protein Molecule Used to Maintain Adult Stem Cells

by Bidita Debnath on April 28, 2013 at 2:45 AM
Font : A-A+

Scientists Identify Protein Molecule Used to Maintain Adult Stem Cells

The holy grail of regenerative medicine is understanding exactly how stem cells form into specific organs and tissues.

Now a UC Santa Barbara researcher has added to that body of knowledge by determining how stem cells produce different types of "daughter" cells in Drosophila (fruit flies). The findings appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Advertisement

Denise Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at UCSB, and colleagues studied the ovaries of fruit flies in order to see stem cells in their natural environment. Because these organisms are excellent models for understanding stem cell biology, researchers were able to shed light on the earliest stages of follicle cell differentiation, a previously poorly understood area of developmental biology. "It is clear that the fundamental principles that control cell behavior in simple animals are conserved and control the behavior of our cells as well," she said. "There is so much we can learn by studying simple organisms."

Using a nuclear protein expressed in follicle stem cells (FSCs), the researchers found that castor, which plays an important role in specifying which types of brain cells are produced during embryonic development, also helps maintain FSCs throughout the life of the animal. "Having identified this important protein molecule in fruit flies, we can test whether the human version of the protein is important for stem cells and their daughters as well," said Montell. "The more we know about the molecules that govern stem cell behavior, the closer we will get to controlling these cells."
Advertisement

Her research team placed the evolutionarily conserved castor (Cas) gene, which encodes a zinc finger protein, in a genetic circuit with two other evolutionarily conserved genes, hedgehog (Hh) and eyes absent (Eya), to determine the fates of specific cell progeny (daughters). What's more, they identified Cas as a critical, tissue-specific target of Hh signaling, which not only plays a key role in maintaining follicle stem cells but also assists in the diversification of their progeny.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Stem Cells - Cord Blood Stem Cells - Fundamentals Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Magical Millets for Your Health Bone Marrow Transplantation Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Stem Cells Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes Nutrition IQ 

Recommended Reading
Useful Stem Cells Separated from "Problem" Ones by Using New Method
It is well-known that pluripotent stem cells can turn, or differentiate, into any cell type in the ....
Mammary Gland Stem Cells "Fished Out" Using A Novel Surface Marker
Stem cells retain the genetic plasticity to self-renew indefinitely as well as develop into cell ......
Ability of Blood Stem Cells to Respond to Emergencies is Surprising
Even stem cells have specific roles to play during emergencies, researchers are reporting....
'Smart' Stem Cells Show Promise in Heart Failure
For people suffering from heart failure cardiopoietic (cardiogenically-instructed) or "smart" stem ....
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Preferred Term is Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In this stem cell from bone marrow are in...
Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes
Athletes can be physically fit by consuming a well balanced nutritious diet, which keeps them mental...
Magical Millets for Your Health
Millets are far more nutrient dense than wheat and rice. They are inexpensive and tasty too. Nutriti...
Stem Cells - Fundamentals
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Stem Cells...
Stem Cells - Cord Blood
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Cord Blood...
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
This new field is an amalgamation of biology, medicine and engineering, and is believed to have mind...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use