Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) are a population of developmentally early stem cells residing in adult tissues. These rare cells, which are slightly smaller than red blood cells, i) become mobilized during stress situations into peripheral blood, ii) are enriched in the Sca1+Lin-CD45- cell fraction in mice and the CD133+ Lin-CD45- cell fraction in humans, iii) express markers of pluripotent stem cells (e.g., Oct4, Nanog, and SSEA), and iv) display a distinct morphology characterized by a high nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio and undifferentiated chromatin.
Folia Histochemica Et Cytobiologica / Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Histochemical and Cytochemical Society
The insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2)-H19 locus encodes important paternally imprinted genes that govern normal embryonic development. While Igf-2 encodes IGF2, which is an autocrine/paracrine mitogen,† transcription of H19 gives rise to non-coding mRNA that is a precursor of several microRNAs (miRNAs) that negatively affect cell proliferation.
Embryonic stem cells can replicate continuously in the absence of senescence and, therefore, are immortal in culture. Although genome stability is essential for the survival of stem cells, proteome stability may have an equally important role in stem-cell identity and function. Furthermore, with the asymmetric divisions invoked by stem cells, the passage of damaged proteins to daughter cells could potentially destroy the resulting lineage of cells. Therefore, a firm understanding of how stem cells maintain their proteome is of central importance.
Schistosomiasis is among the most prevalent human parasitic diseases, affecting more than 200 million people worldwide. The aetiological agents of this disease are trematode flatworms (Schistosoma) that live and lay eggs within the vasculature of the host. These eggs lodge in host tissues, causing inflammatory responses that are the primary cause of morbidity. Because these parasites can live and reproduce within human hosts for decades, elucidating the mechanisms that promote their longevity is of fundamental importance.
The transfer and persistence of fetal progenitor cells into the mother throughout pregnancy has sparked considerable interest as a trafficking stem cell and immunological phenomenon. Indeed, the intriguing longevity of semi-allogeneic fetal microchimeric cells (FMC) in parous women raises questions over their potential clinical implications. FMC have been associated with both immune-modulatory roles and participation in maternal tissue repair.
Cell differentiation is an essential process for the development, growth, reproduction, and longevity of all multicellular organisms, and its regulation has been the focus of intense investigation for the past four decades. The study of natural and induced stem cells has ushered an age of re-examination of what it means to be a stem or a differentiated cell.
Mis-regulation of gene expression due to epigenetic abnormalities has been linked with complex genetic disorders, psychiatric illness, and cancer. In addition, the dynamic epigenetic changes that occur in pluripotent stem cells are believed to impact regulatory networks essential for proper lineage development. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a technique used to enrich genomic fragments using antibodies against specific chromatin modifications, such as DNA-binding proteins or modified histones.