Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Key gene controlling kidney development found

St. Jude researchers show that the Six2 gene prevents kidney stem cells from differentiating so they continue to produce specialized cells that help to build the organ

A gene called Six2 plays a critical role in the development of the kidney by keeping a population of "parent" stem cells constantly available to produce the differentiated cells that give rise to specialized parts of the organ, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Differentiation is the process by which a progenitor (unspecialized) cell develops characteristics specific to its job in the body.

The kidney stem cells, called mesenchymal blastemal cells, are the source of cells triggered by chemical signals to differentiate into nephrons--the structures in the kidney that cleanse the blood of waste. The nephrons later become attached to ducts--tubes that collect the filtered blood as urine and direct it to the bladder. The St. Jude team showed that Six2 works by preventing some of the precursor cells from responding to these signals. This ensures there will be a continual source of undifferentiated stem cells available to maintain the growth of the kidney.

"Our work shows that Six2 is critical to preventing the developing kidney from running out of stem cells and collapsing into a mass of underdeveloped tissue," said Guillermo Oliver, Ph.D., a member of the St. Jude Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology Department. Oliver is senior author of a report on this finding that appears in the online issue of The EMBO Journal.

... more about:
»Development »Kidney »Six2 »Stem

"Our discovery of Six2's role in the developing kidney suggests that a similar mechanism exists in other developing organs," said Michelle Self, the doctoral student in Oliver's laboratory who did most of the work on this project.

The St. Jude team showed that the kidneys in developing mice lacking the Six2 gene were remarkably smaller than normal mice and were non-functional at birth. In addition, they produced an abnormal excess in the number of nephrons that in turn produced a useless mass of tissue. Furthermore, the remaining precursor cells underwent apoptosis (cell suicide), further depleting the population of stem cells that could give rise to differentiated cells needed to form the kidney.

The researchers also found that Six2 works by suppressing a cascade of genetic interactions normally triggered by a gene called Wnt4, which usually drives the normal development of kidneys.

Bonnie Kourvelas | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Development Kidney Six2 Stem

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>