Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

One of the Key Circuits in Regulating Genes Involved in Producing Blood Stem cells is Deciphered

Published: Friday, February 01, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, February 01, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The finding will, in the future, allow obtaining cells in a lab for therapeutic purposes.

Researchers from the group on stem cells and cancer at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have deciphered one of the gene regulation circuits which would make it possible to generate hematopoietic blood cells, i.e. blood tissue stem cells. This finding is essential to generate these cells in a laboratory in the future, a therapy that could benefit patients with leukaemia or other diseases who need a transplant and who, in many cases, do not have a compatible donor.

In the process of generating stem cells, many molecule signals intervene which, through a regulating circuit are induced at a certain moment and remain active during a specific time until they switch off so these cells can differentiate. Anna Bigas, the coordinator of the research group on stem cells and cancer at IMIM explains: “We discovered that the Notch protein, which is involved in the development of most tissues, is responsible for activating the gene GATA2 which is necessary to generate hematopoietic stem cells; at the same time, it induces the reproduction of its own repressor, HES-1”. The team lead by Bigas has also shown that this regulating circuit allows the limited production of GATA2, and this is essential for the production of hematopoietic stem cells.

The study was developed over 4 years and consisted in performing a large number of experiments with the collaboration of groups from Japan, Holland and the USA. On the one hand, researchers identified the mechanism regulating the gene GATA2 in hematopoietic stem cells of a mouse embryo and, on the other hand, they identified DNA sequences regulating this gene; i.e. the sequences of gene GATA2 where the Notch protein and the repressor HES-1 bind. After generating several mutations in these sequences, researchers saw that if the Notch protein does not bind to GATA 2, the gene is not activated, whereas if it’s the repressor HES-1 that doesn’t bind to it, then there is an over-production of the protein GATA 2. Researchers also proved that embryos where HES-1 has been eliminated may not generate functional hematopoietic stem cells due to excessive production of GATA 2.

One of the difficulties encountered by the researchers when carrying out this study is that, from a methodological approach, some of the required techniques were not possible to carry out at IMIM’s laboratories, and for this reason collaboration was established with the group lead by Prof. Masayuki Yamamoto at the Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan. The first signatory of the paper, Dr. Jordi Grau, travelled to Sendai for four months but, due to the earthquake in 2011, it was impossible to conclude the task. It was thanks to the collaborations established with the group lead by Prof. Elaine Dzierzak at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam that it was finally possible to continue with the project.

The process of generating stem cells specifically from tissue in a laboratory is being studied in many laboratories around the world, but this has not yet been achieved. This shows that we need further research into the mechanisms used be the embryo to generate these cells and which regulating genes are involved in this process. “We discovered a basic circuit but there are still many more to discover. Our end objective is to validate our results with cells coming from mouse embryonic stem cells and then being able to use this knowledge to generate human hematopoietic stem cells in a laboratory for therapeutic purposes. These cells could then be used for patients needing a hematologic transplant and do not have a compatible donor” concludes Dr. Bigas.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Breaking Cell Barriers with Retractable Protein Nanoneedles
Adapting a bacterial structure, institute researchers have developed protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells.
Gene Signature could Lead to a New Way of Diagnosing Lyme Disease
Lyme disease patients had distinctive gene signatures that persisted for at least three weeks, even after they had taken the antibiotics.
Retractable Protein Nanoneedles
The ability to control the transfer of molecules through cellular membranes is an important function in synthetic biology; a new study from researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) introduces a novel mechanical method for controlling release of molecules inside cells.
Leukemia’s Surroundings Key to its Growth
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a type of cancer found primarily in children can grow only when signaled to do so by other nearby cells that are noncancerous.
Common Cell Transformed into Master Heart Cell
By genetically reprogramming the most common type of cell in mammalian connective tissue, researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison have generated master heart cells — primitive progenitors that form the developing heart.
‘Smelling’ Prostate Cancer
A research team from the University of Liverpool and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has reached an important milestone towards creating a urine diagnostic test for prostate cancer that could mean that invasive diagnostic procedures that men currently undergo eventually become a thing of the past.
Genetic Mutation that Prevents Diabetes Complications
The most significant complications of diabetes include diabetic retinal disease, or retinopathy, and diabetic kidney disease, or nephropathy. Both involve damaged capillaries.
A Crystal Clear View of Biomolecules
Fundamental discovery triggers paradigm shift in crystallography.
Could the Food we Eat Affect Our Genes?
Almost all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat, according to new research.
NIH Seeks Research Applications to Study Zika in Pregnancy, Developing Fetus
Institute has announced that the new effort seeks to understand virus effect on reproduction and child development.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!