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

Stem Cells Generated with Oct4 Cannot Form a Complete Organism

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine have demonstrated that an egg cell does not require Oct4 to develop into a complete organism.

Somatic cells have already assumed specific tasks through differentiation, but they can be reprogrammed into “all rounders”: by using only four factors, a specialised somatic cell can thus regain its ability to form any type of cell (pluripotency). One of those factors is Oct4. Scientists from Hans Schöler’s team at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster have now been able to demonstrate that an egg cell does not require Oct4 to develop into a complete organism (totipotency). This means that reprogramming cells to make them pluripotent by using the four factors, including Oct4, and reprogramming an egg cell through fertilisation or cloning are significantly different processes.

For quite some time, scientists have ascribed Oct4 an important role in early embryonic development—after all, the protein is present in the egg cell. To study the role of Oct4 in the transition from totipotency to pluripotency, the Max Planck researchers had to deactivate Oct4 in the egg cell. To do this, they used a genetically modified mouse model in which the protein Oct4 was eliminated only in the egg cells. “Contrary to the established premise that Oct4 is crucial for the early embryonic stages of development, the mice without Oct4 were as fertile as those with Oct4,” according to Guangming Wu, first author of the study. “In other words, it was still possible to activate the totipotency of the fertilised egg cells, as in normal fertilisation,” he adds.

Another established assumption was that the fate of the cells in the early embryo is decided by the balance between the protein Oct4 and its antagonist, the protein Cdx2. According to this assumption, Oct4 would turn the cells into embryoblast cells, from which the foetus would later form. Cdx2, on the other hand, would transform the cells into trophoblasts, a subsequent part of the placenta. Consequently, without Oct4, there would be an empty trophoblast envelope. The researchers found that despite the elimination of Oct4, an embryo with an embryoblast formed. However, the cells quickly lost their pluripotency. Wu explains, “There must therefore be other factors that determine the fate of the cells in the early embryo. Identifying the factors that are decisive for embryonic cloning and pluripotency will be the subject of future research.”

In 2009, Hans Schöler and his team demonstrated that certain somatic cells could be reprogrammed into stem cells by using Oct4 alone. Scientists hope that they will be able to use such induced pluripotent stem cells to better study diseases without requiring human embryos to harvest stem cells. “Our study shows that cloning leads to totipotency with or without Oct4, while reprogramming cells for pluripotency is not possible without Oct4,” Hans Schöler explains. “The two types of reprogramming are fundamentally different. This is also an important finding with regard to the Embryo Protection Act. If these two processes were to involve the same mechanisms, there could be totipotent cells among the induced pluripotent stem cells generated with Oct4, in which case the Embryo Protection Act would apply.”


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 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ 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
Insight into Eye Diseases
Scientists recreate zebrafish cell regeneration from retinal stem cells in mice.
1960s Antibiotics Show Promise for TB Therapy
Research suggests antibiotics introduced in 1963 to treat bacterial infections show promise for tuberculosis therapy.
Analysing 10,000 Cells Simultaneously
New techniquethat traps 10,000 cells on a single chip has potential for cancer screening for individuals.
Studies Explore the Science of Cardiovascular Diseases
Two studies highlight how basic science research insights are key to future treatment breakthroughs.
Stem Cell ‘Heart Patch’ Almost Perfected
Scientists aiming to perfect and test 3D "heart patches" in animal model, last hurdle before human patients.
Using Stem Cells to Grow a 3D Lung-in-a-Dish
Researchers have created 3D lung-like tissue from lung-derived stem cells. The tissue can be used to study lung diseases.
MRI Guidance Aids Stem Cell Delivery
Scientists have delivered stem cells to the brain with unprecedented precision, infusing the cells under real-time MRI guidance.
Mechanisms of Parkinson’s Pathology
Defects that lead to cells’ failure to decommission faulty mitochondria cause nerve cells to die, triggering the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Stem Cell Transplant Without Radiation or Chemotherapy
Researchers have successfully performed stem cell transplants without using radiation or chemotherapy.
Advanced Lymphoma in Remission After T-Cell Therapy
63% of trial participants who recieved two-drug combination chemo plus intermediate dose of engineered T cells went into complete remission.
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
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!