Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular 'marker' on stem cells aids research, perhaps therapies

05.12.2006
A sugar molecule present on embryonic stem cells also has been found on the surface of a type of adult stem cell, a discovery that may help researchers isolate and purify adult stem cells for use in therapies aimed at bone healing, tendon repair and cartilage regeneration, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report.

The molecule, called SSEA-4, was found on the surface of certain stem cells in bone marrow that give rise to fat, cartilage and bone. These so-called mesenchymal cells are a tiny component of bone marrow; the vast majority of bone marrow is made up of hematopoietic stem cells, which give rise to blood and immune cells.

Dr. Rita Perlingeiro, assistant professor in the Center for Developmental Biology and of molecular biology, said detecting SSEA-4 will aid in singling out the mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, for more detailed scientific study as well as for possible medical applications. The cells have shown promise in early clinical studies elsewhere, where scientists tested their use to repair bone defects and to attenuate the effects of bone loss in diseases such as osteoporosis.

The study is available online and will be published in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Blood.

Although mesenchymal cells were discovered in the 1970s, researchers still use decades-old methods to isolate them from bone marrow, said Dr. Perlingeiro, who led the research.

Exploiting the sugar molecule as a biological marker will boost researchers’ ability to obtain a purer, more homogeneous population of MSCs. That’s an important consideration, for example, in applications such as tissue engineering, where only bone-generating cells are needed. Such cells are being tested by a number of researchers for their ability to grow fat, cartilage and bone on special biomaterial-based scaffolding, with the goal of producing soft tissue for reconstruction or augmentation, or to shore up bones left fragile by age or disease.

“With a purer cell population, you should have a more effective therapy,” Dr. Perlingeiro said.

The SSEA-4 molecule was known to be on the surface of embryonic stem cells, as well as on embryonic carcinoma cells, the malignant counterparts of embryonic stem cells.

Dr. Perlingeiro’s ongoing studies also suggest that the SSEA-4 molecule might be present in other tissues, leading to the intriguing possibility that the SSEA-4 molecule could be a marker for “stemness,” she said.

“The discovery of this molecule on MSCs was surprising, and is important to further our understanding of the biological nature of adult stem cells,” Dr. Perlingeiro said. “We are also interested in learning whether SSEA-4 is expressed on other stem cells, such as those for muscle.

“It could actually be useful where we see less of it, as in tissues with very few stem cells. This marker could help us separate out those rare cells more easily.”

She and her team also are investigating the SSEA-4 molecule’s relationship to cancer stem cells, those cells in a tumor that behave like stem cells in that they self-renew and maintain the cancer even if most of the tumor is destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy.

“Is the expression of this marker elevated in a tumor" If so, perhaps it might be useful to identify cancer stem cells, but we don’t know yet,” Dr. Perlingeiro said. “That would be a very beneficial application, not just for guiding therapy, but also for early cancer detection and perhaps prevention.”

Amanda Siegfried | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

Further reports about: Embryonic Perlingeiro SSEA-4 embryonic stem cell stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Inactivate vaccines faster and more effectively using electron beams
23.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>