Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein that regulates quiescent blood stem cells may enhance recovery from radiation and chemo

14.03.2006


Scientists have uncovered new information about what orchestrates the complex balance between blood stem cells and mature blood cells, a relationship that is often disrupted in leukemia. The results, published in the March issue of Cancer Cell, will lead to a better understanding of the behavior of leukemic cells and may have vital clinical applications for patients recovering from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or bone marrow transplantation.



Recent studies have implicated reduced levels of a transcription factor called MEF with subtypes of leukemia. Drs. Stephen D. Nimer and Daniel Lacorazza from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and colleagues examined the blood cells of mice that do not express MEF in their bone marrow and found an increased population of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells (HSCs). HSCs are immature cells in the bone marrow that have the capacity to differentiate into all types of mature blood cells. A delicate balance exists between self-renewal and differentiation of HSCs because the body must retain a sufficient population of HSCs while continually producing the multitude of new blood cells that are needed each day.

The researchers demonstrated that MEF regulates a little-understood state of quiescence that enables HSCs to exist in a kind of suspended animation until they are recruited to promote rapid repopulation of depleted blood cells, as would be needed following treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. MEF-deficient mice accumulated quiescent HSCs with the capacity for repopulation and demonstrated enhanced resistance to the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation, which is also seen in wild-type mice transplanted with MEF-deficient HSCs. "This feature can also be helpful to maintain HSCs in an undifferentiated state during gene therapy protocols," explains Dr. Lacorazza, now a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine.


These results suggest that MEF regulates HSCs’ decision to remain quiescent or divide, and the researchers speculate that treatments to diminish MEF may improve recovery from chemotherapy and radiation. However, it is important to point out that while reduced expression of MEF might enhance recovery after myelosuppression, it is possible that certain leukemic stem cells may also be protected from these same treatments. "Myelotoxicity induced by chemotherapy or radiotherapy could be prevented by maintaining stem cells in a quiescent state during their administration to cancer patients. However, another implication of our work is that tumor stem cells are more quiescent than more differentiated tumor cells and could use similar mechanisms to resist the effects of chemotherapy or radiation," explains Dr. Nimer.

Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mskcc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht X-ray experiments reveal two different types of water
27.06.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht What Makes Stem Cells into Perfect Allrounders
27.06.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>