Several days ago, some scientists claimed that they have found a natural trigger that enables stem cells to become any cell-type in the body, which sounds like pluripotent stem cells. The study was published in the journal of Cell Reports.
They identified the protein—Tcf15 that kick-starts the process by which stem cells can develop to into different cells in the body, for example, liver or brain cells.
They found Tcf15 during the observation of how some stem cells are naturally prevented from specializing into other cell types. In the process, they found two sets of proteins and one of which binds to the other blocking them from carrying out their various functions. Then, they began to screen the blocked proteins to find out which ones would enable stem cells to differentiate.
Moreover, scientists who studied embryonic stem cells in mice also developed a technique that enabled them to highlight the presence of the key protein in the cells.
In via of this technique, scientists can identify which cells have this protein and monitor how the protein affects stem cells in real time thus to have a better outline of the process and related mechanism. Specially, the protein allows people to know more about how stem cells differentiate into other cell types, especially the first step.
This was an initial finding which in other ways means scientists still need more lab studies to further the research. But it could help scientists improve techniques enabling them to turn stem cells into other cell types, be used to test drugs or help create therapies for degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis and liver disease.
Article Link: Lab Research Finds a Protein with “Pluripotent” Feature
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