Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of MN researchers identify genes involved with blood stem cell development

05.07.2005


Discovery has implications for future treatments



Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified for the first time a group of genes that impact the development and function of blood stem cells, a discovery that brings researchers a step closer to harnessing the power of stem cells for disease treatments.

Every day, blood stem cells divide and differentiate to generate approximately 200 billion new blood cells in the bone marrow of adults. To maintain their numbers over time, blood stem cells also can divide and give rise to new blood stem cells through a process called self-renewal. What was not fully understood is which genes control the self-renewal and differentiation processes, and how these genes could be used to influence, or regulate, these processes.


The research will be published in the July issue of the journal of Public Library of Science Biology.

"If we can find a way to coax blood stem cells to self-renew and thus expand in the laboratory, doctors will have more options in treating diseases such as blood disorders, leukemias, and lymphomas," said Catherine Verfaillie, M.D., director of the University’s Stem Cell Institute.

For example, researchers at the University already perform umbilical cord blood transplants to treat disease. But there are often not enough blood stem cells harvested from a single collection of umbilical cord blood to effectively treat adults and older children. This research provides insight into understanding how to stimulate blood stem cells to multiply so that scientists could generate enough cells from a single umbilical cord to treat more patients.

Importantly, the researchers developed a rapid way to identify genes that regulate the functions of stem cells that give rise to blood cells. They first developed a list of 277 genes that may regulate stem cells that make blood. They then focused on a group of 61 of these genes that had unknown roles in the function of blood stem cells.

Using zebrafish, a small fish that develops red blood cells in a way similar to humans, they "turned off" these genes in the fish embryos and watched to see if the blood formed normally. They found that disrupting the expression of 14 of these genes resulted in defects in how blood cells developed in zebrafish.

The next step is finding out how these 14 genes are involved in the development of blood cells in mammals, as well as how to harness the cells’ ability to self-renew, or multiply. In the future, the techniques developed as a result of this research could be applied to other disciplines, such as neuroscience and diabetes research.

Sara E. Buss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Success at leading conference on silicon materials science and technology in Japan

13.12.2018 | Awards Funding

NSF-supported scientists present new research results on Earth's critical zone

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes

13.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>