Changing somatic cell function

Functional reprogramming of somatic cells can be achieved using a nuclear and cytoplasmic extract derived from another somatic cell type.

Tudor Toma(t.toma@ic.ac.uk)
May 13, 2002

Nuclear reprogramming occurs during cloning, stem cell differentiation and cancer development, but the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain unclear. In May Nature Biotechnology, Anne-Mari Häkelien and colleagues from University of Oslo, Norway, show that the functional reprogramming of a somatic cell can be achieved using a nuclear and cytoplasmic extract derived from a different somatic cell type.

Häkelien et al. used an in vitro system based on the incubation of nuclei or cells in a somatic cell extract. They observed that exposure of human fibroblasts to extracts from T cells and from lymphoblastic leukemia Jurkat-Tag cells activate several T cell-specific genes and functions, including CD3, CD4, TCRαβ chanins and IL-2 receptor synthesis. In addition, following exposure to a neuronal precursor extract, the fibroblasts expressed a neurofilament protein and extended neurite-like outgrowths.

These results "may allow identification of molecules central to biological processes as diverse as...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?