Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have found a fundamental mechanism used by embryonic stem cells to assure that genetically damaged stem cells do not divide and pass along the damage to daughter stem cells.
Photo of mouse embryonic stem cells Credit: Tongxiang Lin, UCSD
Their discovery, detailed in an advance online publication of the journal Nature Cell Biology, solves the longstanding mystery of how embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to divide an unlimited number of times and differentiate to make all of the cell types in the body, are able to avoid duplicating cells that have sustained genetic damage.
“What we discovered is a primary mechanism that allows embryonic stem cells to perform quality control inspections during their self-renewal, the process by which these cells undergo unlimited cellular division to produce an unlimited number of daughter cells,” says Yang Xu, an associate professor of biology at UCSD who headed the research team.
Yang Xu | EurekAlert!
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