Protein behind growth of blood cells unveiledAugust 14th, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, August 14 (ANI): Experts at The Children’’s Hospital of Philadelphia have discovered that a protein called Lnk is key to the normal growth of blood cells, shedding new light on the biological events that convert stem cells in the bone marrow into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood.
The researchers say that their findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants, and lead to better treatments for life-threatening blood diseases.
“As we better understand the biological pathways that regulate the growth of stem cells, we may identify new approaches for treating blood disorders,” said Dr. Wei Tong, a hematology researcher at The Children’’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who led the study published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) develop into all types of blood cellsred blood cells, platelets and immune cells. They can give rise to mature, developed cells with more specific functions, as well as a new stem cell.
The Lnk protein helps control HSC expansion. When a growth factor in the blood called thrombopoietin (TPO) acts on its cell receptor, it triggers signals along a pathway that includes another protein, JAK2. JAK2, in turn, causes stem cells to increase their numbers.
A previous study led by Tong had suggested that Lnk was a negative regulator for HSCs, which acted as a brake on stem cell expansion.
In their latest study, her team observed that mice genetically engineered to lack the Lnk protein had 10 times the normal amount of HSCs in their bone marrow.
Without Lnk to directly interact with JAK2 and inhibit its activity, TPO made stem cell production go into overdrive.
However, there was an unexpected potential benefit– the expanded population of stem cells had a higher proportion of quiescent cells, those in a resting stage in the cell cycle.
Tong said that quiescent stem cells were more likely to succeed in a recipient when they were used in bone marrow transplantation.
She believes that building on this knowledge, other researchers may be able to manipulate HSCs for more effective bone marrow transplants for cancer patients after high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
According to her, using a drug to inhibit Lnk could potentially produce larger numbers of HSCs for a successful bone marrow transplant. (ANI)
- Long-term pesticide exposure is harmful: STM study - Jun 20, 2012
- New discovery may lead to more effective stem cell therapies for leukemia - Feb 15, 2010
- How bone-marrow stem cells survive in low-oxygen environments - Sep 04, 2010
- Prostate and breast cancer usually recur in bone: Study - Mar 24, 2011
- Key gene that protects against leukaemia identified - Apr 09, 2009
- Molecular origin of blood stem cells unlocked - Jan 10, 2009
- Sahara Hospital to start bone-marrow transplant - Sep 24, 2011
- New 'stretchy' technique generates 3 times more stem cells than usual - Oct 04, 2010
- Gene that prevents stem cells from turning cancerous identified - Oct 15, 2010
- Stem cells ageing may be reversible - Jan 31, 2010
- Iraqi woman gets new life with bone marrow transplant in India - Sep 23, 2010
- Pak businessman is Delhi's first marrow transplant case from unrelated donor - Sep 17, 2012
- Immune system can abort stem cell regeneration - Nov 21, 2011
- Lasers to treat human heart after attack - Aug 12, 2011
- Breast milk can be source for stem cells - Oct 18, 2011
Tags: biological events, biological pathways, blood cells, blood diseases, blood disorders, bone marrow transplants, cell expansion, cell receptor, hematology, hematopoietic stem cells, hscs, immune cells, journal of clinical investigation, negative regulator, overdrive, pathway, quiescent cells, s hospital, stem cell, tong