Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Protein Paves the Way for Correct Stem Cell Differentiation

Published: Monday, February 11, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Research from BRIC, University of Copenhagen, has identified a crucial role of the molecule Fbxl10 in differentiation of embryonic stem cells.

A single embryonic stem cell can develop into more than 200 specialized cell types that make up our body. This maturation process is called differentiation and is tightly regulated through strict control of gene activity. If the regulation is lost, specialized cells cannot develop correctly during development. In adulthood, the specialized cells may forget their identity and develop into cancer cells. Research from BRIC, University of Copenhagen, has identified a crucial role of the molecule Fbxl10 in differentiation of embryonic stem cells and suggests the molecule as a new potential target for cancer therapy.

“Our new results show that this molecule is required for the function of one of the most important molecular switches that constantly regulates the activity of our genes. If Fbxl10 is not present in embryonic stem cells, the cells cannot differentiate properly and this can lead to developmental defects”, says Professor Kristian Helin, who heads the research group behind the new findings.

Fbxl10 recruits and activates genetic switches

The Polycomb protein complexes PRC1 and PRC2 are some of the most important genetics switches, which control  the fate of individual cells through negative regulation of gene activity. The mechanism by which PRCs are recruited to DNA has been elusive as they are not capable of binding DNA directly. The new results from the Helin research group provide a mechanism for how the PRCs are recruited to the genes that are to be silent.

“Our results show that Fbxl10 is essential for recruiting PRC1 to genes that are to be silenced in embryonic stem cells. Fbxl10 binds directly to DNA and to PRC1, and this way it serves to bring PRC1 to specific genes. When PRC1 is bound to DNA it can modify the DNA associated proteins, which lead to  silencing of the gene to which it binds”, says postdoc Xudong Wu, who has led the experimental part of the investigation.

Fbxl10 is a potential target for cancer therapy

Timing of gene activity is not only crucial during development, but has to be maintained throughout the lifespan of any cell. Some genes are active at a certain times, but inactive at other times.. Here PRC1 comes into play. PRC1 is dynamically recruited to and dissociated from genes according to the needs of our organism. When cancer strikes, this tight regulation of gene activity is often lost and the cells are locked in a less differentiated stage. This loss of differentiation and the accumulation of other mutations allow the cancer cells to undergo indefinite self-renewal through endless cell divisions, an ability that normal differentiated cells are prohibited from through tight gene regulation.

“Given the emerging relationship between cancer and stem cells, our findings may implicate that an aberrant activity of Fbxl10 can disturb PRC function and promote a lack of differentiation in our cells. This makes it worth studying whether blocking the function of Fbxl10 could be a strategy for tumour therapy”, says Xudong Wu.

And that is exactly what the researchers want to try. In collaboration with the biotech company EpiTherapeutics, the researchers want to develop inhibitors to Fbxl10 as a potential novel therapy for cancer.


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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ 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.

Related Content

New Bio Bank to Resolve Legal and Ethical Issues
When researchers collect human tissue in a so-called bio bank, the purpose is usually to learn about various diseases and improve curing of them.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Stem Cells Develop Best in 3D
Scientists from The Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem) at the University of Copenhagen are contributing important knowledge about how stem cells develop best into insulin-producing cells.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Scientific News
Human Stem Cells to Rapidly Generate Bone, Heart Muscle
A new study shows that combining positive and negative signals can quickly and efficiently steer stem cells down complex developmental pathways to become specialized tissues that could be used in the clinic.
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer and that, when deleted in the lungs of mice, prevents the cancer from forming.
New Mechanism of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers have identified a new infection mechanism of tuberculosis that could lead to a new therapeutic angle.
Modelling ALS Requires ‘Aged’ Stem Cells
Research suggests engineered cells are too ‘young’ to accurately model ALS and should be 'aged' to speed progress toward finding potential treatments.
Protein Reinforces Growth of Damaged Muscles
Biologists have found a protein involved in stem cells that bolsters damaged muscle tissue growth - potential for muscle degeneration treatments.
Treating HIV with Cancer-Fighting Gene Shows Promise
A type of gene immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV.
'Antigen-Presenting Cell' Defends Against Cancer
Through advanced imaging, researchers have identified cells that encourages increases in immune system cancer defences.
Rapid Generation from Stem Cells
Researchers coax human stem cells to rapidly generate bone and heart muscle by directing stem cells down complex developmental pathways.
HIV Hides No Longer
Researchers are working to create proteins that clear HIV-infected cells in order to eliminate latent infection and dormancy.
R&D Agreement for Development of CtDNA Diagnostics
SeraCare and NIST partner for development of ctDNA diagnostic assay reference materials.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!