Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Foxd3 gene allows stem cells to remain stem cells

15.10.2002


Foxd3 joins the small, but growing list of stem cell regulating genes



In the search to understand the nature of stem cells, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a regulatory gene that is crucial in maintaining a stem cell’s ability to self-renew. According to their findings, the Foxd3 gene is a required factor for pluripotency – the ability of stem cells to turn into different types of tissue – in the mammalian embryo. Their research is presented in the October 15th issue of the journal Genes and Development.

"Stem cells represent a unique tissue type with great potential for disease therapy, but if we are to use stem cells then we ought to know the basis of their abilities," said Patricia Labosky, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. "Among the stem cell regulatory genes, it appears that Foxd3 gene expression keeps stem cells from quickly differentiating – that is, developing into different types of tissue – holding back the process so that an embryo will have enough stem cells to continue developing normally."


To study the function of the Foxd3 gene, Labosky and her colleagues generated mice with an inactivating mutation in the gene, and then analyzed those mice to determine the role of the Foxd3 protein.

Foxd3-deficient embryos do not survive very long. While part of the yolk sac forms, the inner cell mass that contains all the cells that make up the body of the developing embryos fails to expand enough to produce the embryo and some of the supportive tissues. Without Foxd3, the mouse embryos simply could not maintain enough stem cells to survive a crucial point in their development.

"Our findings implicate Foxd3 as one of the few genes serving as a ’master switch’ of the developing embryo," said Labosky. "These genes determine the fate of cells by turning on or off other genes in response to signals in the embryo."

Foxd3 joins previously identified genes, such as Oct4, Fgf4, and Sox2, which control the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells in the early stages of embryogenesis. In their experiments, Labosky and her colleagues found that these genes are still expressed despite the lack of Foxd3. This suggests Foxd3 functions either downstream of Oct4, Fgf4 and Sox2, or along a parallel pathway.

The researchers determined that normal embryonic development can be restored by adding non-mutant embryonic stem cells to the Foxd3-mutant embryos, indicating that Foxd3 acts in the inner cell mass and its derivatives. According to Labosky, Foxd3 is a key regulator of mammalian stem cells, with a clear counterpart in humans. Foxd3 gene expression is a diagnostic characteristic of human embryonic stem cells, suggesting that the gene may function in a similar fashion in mouse and human cells.

"If we are to take advantage of stem cells as a clinical therapeutic, then it is absolutely vital to identify the key regulatory genes such as Foxd3 that control the process of cell differentiation," said Labosky. "Once we understand how these genes function we are that much closer to being able to mold stem cells to meet our needs."

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.upenn.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>