Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene related to aging plays role in stem cell differentiation

07.06.2010
A gene shown to play a role in the aging process appears to play a role in the regulation of the differentiation of embryonic stem cells, according to researchers from the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.

In the study, published online in the journal Aging Cell, the researchers identified a protein interaction that controls the silencing of Oct4, a key transcription factor that is critical to ensuring that embryonic stem cells remain pluripotent. The protein, WRNp, is the product of a gene associated with Werner syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder hallmarked by premature aging. The gene expression in Werner syndrome closely resembles that of normal aging, and as a result, Werner syndrome is an accepted model of aging.

They first found that WRNp accumulates at the Oct4 promoter in differentiating stem cells. They then found that WRNp interacts with another protein called Dnmt3b to control DNA methylation at the Oct4 promoter, according to researchers led by René Daniel, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine.

Previously, Dnmt3b was identified to be a key player in the DNA methylation of the Oct4 promoter. DNA methylation of the Oct4 promoter inactivates the Oct4 gene. The inactivation, or silencing, of this gene is necessary for stem cell differentiation.

"We showed that the depletion of WRNp blocked the recruitment of Dnmt3b to the Oct4 promoter, and resulted in reduced methylation," Dr. Daniel said. "The reduced DNA methylation was associated with continued Oct4 expression, which resulted in attenuated differentiation."

Until now, the focus of studies on the role of WRNp in aging has been on telomeres. These studies have shown that telomeres undergo accelerated shortening and loss in Werner syndrome cells. But it remains to be shown if this is the major role that WRNp plays in the aging process.

"These results reveal a novel function of WRNp, and demonstrate that WRNp controls a key step in pluripotent stem cell differentiation," Dr. Daniel said. "Our data support the emerging hypothesis that attenuated stem cell differentiation is involved in aging. This lack of differentiated cells may contribute to failure to maintain organ or tissue function in the later stages of life."

Emily Shafer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jefferson.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | 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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>