Hidden messages in protein blueprints
New mechanism for regulating the activity of stem cells discovered
Source:German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ)
Summary:Scientists have identified a new control mechanism that enables stem cells to adapt their activity in emergency situations. For this purpose, the stem cells simultaneously modify the blueprints for hundreds of proteins encoded in the gene transcripts. In this way, they control the amount of protein produced and can also control the formation of certain proteinisoforms. If this mechanism is inactivated, stem cells lose their self-renewal potential and can no longer react adequately to danger signals or inflammation.