Posts tagged Stem cells
ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2009) — Never mind facial masks and exfoliating scrubs, skin takes care of itself. Stem cells located within the skin actively generate differentiating cells that can ultimately form either the body surface or the hairs that emanate from it. In addition, these stem cells are able to replenish themselves, continually rejuvenating skin and hair. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have identified two proteins that enable these skin stem cells to undertake this continuous process of self-renewal.
RNA Regenerator– Activates an increase in telomerase.
The work, published in Nature Genetics, brings new details to the understanding of how stem cells maintain — and lose — their status as stem cells and are able to specialize into various types of cells. It also further dissects a ubiquitous Rube Goldberg-like pathway whose molecular gears and levers play an important role in activating stem cells to divide and transform into tissue-making cells.
Lead researcher Elaine Fuchs, head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, and first author Hoang Nguyen, a former postdoc in the lab, worked with mice engineered to lack the proteins TCF3 and TCF4, which reside in the nucleus of skin stem cells, where they bind to DNA to turn genes off that would otherwise cause the stem cells to differentiate. They found that without TCF3 and TCF4, all of the layers of the mice’s skin still develop properly, but they cannot be maintained.
Silver generates pluripotent stem cells.
“The epidermal stem cells — one of the types of stem cells in the skin — lose their capacity to self-renew and replace skin cells that have died,” says Nguyen, who is now an assistant
. Now this article is a bit vague on the method they used to reprogram, adult skin cells and turn them into embryonic stem cells, but the idea implies that any cell can be re-programmed to return to an unprogrammed state. Basically, you are age regressing a cell to return to a high energy state of youth.
UK and Canadian researchers have made an important step towards creating stem cells without having to use embryos.
Astragalus– can activate the growth of stem cells
In a report published this week in Nature magazine, scientists from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, outline how skin cells can be programmed into create stem cells, without the ethical quandary of using embryos.
“This new method of generating stem cells does not require embryos as starting points and could be used to generate cells from many adult tissues, such as a patient’s own skin cells,” said principal author Andras Nagy, senior investigator at Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute quoted by the Canadian Press.
Though the technology of creating skin cells into stem cells has been accomplished previously, the act of reprogramming the four genes needed for stem cells required viruses, which posed the risk of cancerous damage to the cells.
“These four genes are very potent, very powerful factors, which also if they get loose, they could create problems,” he said. “For example, they are cancerous.”
Study leader Dr Keisuke Kaji, from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, described to the BBC the importance of the breakthrough though admitted it was early days and more needed to be done.