Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gladstone scientists identify role of tiny RNAs in controlling stem cell fate

06.03.2008
Understanding these key regulatory factors is critical for potential therapeutic use of stem cells

Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and the University of California, San Francisco have identified for the first time how tiny genetic factors called microRNAs may influence the differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells into cardiac muscle. As reported in the journal Cell Stem Cell, scientists in the lab of GICD Director, Deepak Srivastava, MD, demonstrated that two microRNAs, miR-1 and miR-133, which have been associated with muscle development, not only encourage heart muscle formation, but also actively suppress genes that could turn the ES cells into undesired cells like neurons or bone.

“Understanding how pluripotent stem cells can be used in therapy requires that we understand the myriad processes and factors that influence cell fate,” said Dr. Srivastava. “This work shows that microRNAs can function both in directing how ES cells change into specific cells—as well as preventing these cells from developing into unwanted cell types. ”

The differentiation of ES cells into heart cells or any other type of adult cell is a very complicated process involving many factors. MicroRNAS, or miRNAs, seem to act as rheostats or “dimmer switches” to fine-tune levels of important proteins in cells. More than 450 human miRNAs have been described and each is predicted to regulate tens if not hundreds of proteins that may determine cellular differentiation.

... more about:
»Differentiation »Stem »genes »miR-1 »miRNAs

While many ES cell-specific miRNAs have been identified, the role of individual miRNAs in ES cell differentiation had not previously been determined. The Gladstone team showed that miRNAs can control how pluripotent stem cells determine their fate, or “cell lineage” – in this case as cardiac muscle cells.

Specifically, they found that miR-1 and miR-133 are active at the early stages of heart cell formation, when an ES cell is first “deciding” to become mesoderm, one of the three basic tissue layers in mammals and other organisms. Activity of either miR-1 or miR-133 in ES cells caused genes that encourage mesoderm formation to be turned on. Equally important, they caused other genes that would have told the cell to become ectoderm or endoderm to turn off. For example, expression of a specific factor called Delta-like 1 was repressed by miR-1. Removal of this factor from cells by other methods also caused the cells to begin transforming into heart cells.

“Our findings provide insight into the fine regulation of cells and genes that is needed for a heart to form,” said Kathy Ivey, PhD, a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) postdoctoral fellow and lead author on the study. “By better understanding this complicated system, in the future, we may be able to identify ways to treat or prevent childhood and adult diseases that affect the heart.”

Valerie Tucker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu

Further reports about: Differentiation Stem genes miR-1 miRNAs

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>