Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of M researchers discover link between heart, blood, and skeletal muscle

03.05.2013
Gene thought to make heart tissues turns out to make blood and muscles as well
New research out of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota shows that by turning on just a single gene, Mesp1, different cell types including the heart, blood and muscle can be created from stem cells. The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

“Previous research indicated that this gene was the “master regulator” for development of the heart, and that its activity prevented the differentiation of other cell types,” said Michael Kyba, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Pediatrics and a Lillehei endowed scholar. “Our work reveals that this gene acts differently, and that it plays a role in the development of blood and skeletal muscle as well. The outcome depends on the chemical signals that cells expressing this factor sense in their environment.”

The research was conducted in the Kyba Lab by lead author Sunny Chan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the lab.

Stem cell researchers have been trying to generate different cell types for regenerative medicine for years. The gene Mesp1 was particularly interesting to cardiac researchers because it was believed to be a master regulator, sitting at the pinnacle of a gene hierarchy driving cardiac differentiation, blocking the differentiation of other cell types.

However, this research turns that assumption on its head.

A carefully designed study, aimed at understanding precisely what Mesp1 does at different points in time as stem cells develop, revealed that the gene can do so much more than previously thought.

By turning Mesp1 on and off at specific time windows and fine-tuning the culture environment, stem cells can be coached to become not just heart cells, but also blood and muscle cells.

“This is totally out of the blue, but our discovery brings some conflicting findings about Mesp1 together,” said Chan. “Some previous studies reported Mesp1 could not make heart cells in certain contexts. We now know why.”

The Kyba team further shows Mesp1 is present in the cells that go on to become adult stem cells in the bone marrow which form new blood cells, and stem cells in the skeletal muscles, which form new muscle fibers.

“We are amazed at what a single gene can do,” said Chan. “By understanding what Mesp1 does, we are more likely to make different cell types from stem cells more efficiently. We are one step closer to using stem cell technology for regenerative medicine.”

Funding for this study was provided by National Institutes for Health (NIH) grants U01 HL100407 and R01 AR055685, along with contributions from the American Heart Association-Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation. Additional grants from the NIH support researchers involved in this project: T32 AR007612 and T32 HL069764.

Caroline Marin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin 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: 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

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>