The essence of stem cells

Researchers discover a protein that may allow already-differentiated somatic cells to become stem cells.

By | June 3, 2011

Messenchymal stem cellsNATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE

A membrane protein that acts as the glue between cells is also necessary for the ability of embryonic stem cells to differentiate into multiple tissue types, as well as for already-differentiated cells to become pluripotent. In the absence of the cell-adhesion protein E-cadherin, stem cells lose their pluripotency, researchers in Berlin found. Likewise, when differentiated cells that normally don't express E-cadherin are reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), they begin to produce the protein. The discovery could eventually help researchers move toward "using human somatic cells to develop stem cell therapy for diseases such as heart attack, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease or diabetes," said lead researcher Daniel Besser of the Max-Delbruck-Center for Molecular Medicine in a press release.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts
  2. Running on Empty
    Features Running on Empty

    Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

  3. Most of Human Genome Nonfunctional: Study
  4. Identifying Predatory Publishers
AAAS