Two Proteins that Control Stem Cells
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Two Proteins that Control Stem Cells

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Mammalian embryos are different from those of any other organism because they have to grow in the body of the mother. While other animal embryos develop outside the mother, their embryonic cells can handle tasks like a head, tail or vital organ. In contrast, mammalian embryos have to choose between placenta formation or baby creation.

New research published in the journal eLife at Michigan State University has identified two proteins that are the keys to this decision-making process. The process of placenta or baby cell assignment is important because it is when pluripotent cells are produced. These adaptable pluripotent cells are essential for stem cell research and these two proteins can be the key to deciphering the birth of pluripotent cells.

Pluripotent cells are the progenitors of embryonic stem cells and are known for being part of the body. Scientists have discovered a process that regulates the balance between pluripotent and placenta and changes the physical location of cells in the cell ball of the embryo. In order to form this wonderful ball, the mother packs two closely related proteins into her eggs, which help to supervise this process. The science team has used genetic tools to remove YAP1 and WWTR1 proteins from mouse eggs and embryos. Two proteins first place these cells in distinct locations inside and outside and then decide their destiny: placenta or pluripotent.

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Each phase of Ralston's research reverts to the development of stem cells, a process that nature carries out with 100 percent efficiency. Laboratory stem cells are created with one percent efficiency at the other end of the spectrum, which also proves the incomplete understanding of the nature of stem cells.

Researchers have discovered that cells evade this stickiness, crawl inside the embryo, and acquire the properties that make stem cells so interesting and useful.  Researchers have found Cell membrane properties in stem cells that determine where they stick, which through insight into when researchers make stem cells in the lab, must acquire a unique cell membrane. The new discovery proves that with similarities between embryos and organoids, researchers can build organs from human stem cells.

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