Factors behind embryonic stem cell state
An international collaboration has found for the first time that two new epigenetic regulators, TAF5L and TAF6L, maintain self-renewal of embryonic stem cells. The scientists also found that these proteins activate c-Myc (a well-known cancer gene), and its regulatory network. This is the first time scientists have been able to show what these regulators do and how they control gene expression.
A light-activated remote control for cells
What if doctors had a remote control that they could use to steer a patient's own cells to a wound to speed up the healing process? Although such a device is still far from reality, researchers have taken an important first step: They used near-infrared light and an injected DNA nanodevice to guide stem cells to an injury, which helped muscle tissue regrow in mice.
Boosting muscle stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and aging muscles
Scientists have uncovered a molecular signaling pathway involving Stat3 and Fam3a proteins that regulates how muscle stem cells decide whether to self-renew or differentiate -- an insight that could lead to muscle-boosting therapeutics for muscular dystrophies or age-related muscle decline.
Scientists 'reverse engineer' brain cancer cells to find new targets for treatment
Glioblastoma is one of the most devastating forms of cancer, with few existing treatment options. It is also a leading cause of cancer-related death in children and young adults. Scientists have 'reverse engineered' brain cancer stem cells gene by gene, uncovering multiple potential targets for this hard-to-treat cancer.
How inflammation causes gastric cancer
Researchers have solved the decades-old mystery of how stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori causes gastric cancer. Using mouse models and human cancer cell lines, they showed that inflammation resulting from bacterial infection leads to the proliferation of gastric epithelial cells, which ultimately form gastric tumors. By blocking the protein pathway responsible for this proliferation, they prevented gastric tumor formation.