Scientists have learned to turn cells into stem cells by using antibodies

Scientists have learned to turn cells into stem cells by using antibodies


Stem cells represent a generic item, from which the body builds tissue and organs. Immature stem cells are able to renew themselves, to divide and further differentiate into specialized cells. Ten years ago, scientists made a very important discovery: they managed to reprogram skin cells through the introduction in their DNA certain genes, so that they became stem cells. Now, scientists from the SCRIPPS Research Institute have managed to do the same thing, but without complicated genetic manipulation.

Scientists have discovered a particular human antibodies, is able to reprogram skin cells, turning them into stemwithout the need to change their DNA. After the discovery in 2006 when researchers were experimenting with genes Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, though, and made it possible to achieve the desired result, but it was fraught with serious risks. The resulting cells suddenly become cancerous, and their qualities were often far from ideal.

Needed a more natural way of obtaining stem cells. It was discovered by scientists from SCRIPPS. Antibodies are able to bind to proteins on the surface of cells and produce similar genetic manipulation, but only in a natural way, without penetration into the cell, therefore greatly reducing the risk to receive a cancer or other undesirable result. A team of researchers started with the fact that he collected a library of 100 million human antibody, and then scanned them to find the most suitable for a given manipulation.

Scientists have experimented with the skin cells of laboratory mice. First, they introduced into them, two genes Oct4 and Klf4, and then placed in culture many of the selected antibodies, in the hope that any of them will be able to complete the process of transformation of the source cells into stem cells. Assumption was correct, some adult stem cells actually become. After that, researchers just have to figure out which antibody is capable of it, by weeding out all superfluous. Repeating experiments, scientists were able to find antibodies capable of transforming cells without any interference in their nucleus and DNA. The results of the research can be read in the journal Nature Biotechnology.