Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Biology > Why Are Some Cells More… >
Why Are Some Cells More Cancer Prone?

Published: August 27, 2013.
By Carnegie Institution
http://www.ciw.edu

Baltimore, MD—Cells in the body wear down over time and die. In many organs, like the small intestine, adult stem cells play a vital role in maintaining function by replacing old cells with new ones. Learning about the nature of tissue stem cells can help scientists understand exactly how our organs are built, and why some organs generate cancer frequently, but others only rarely.

New work from Carnegie's Alexis Marianes and Allan Spradling used some of the most experimentally accessible tissue stem cells, the adult stem cells in the midsection of the fruit fly gut, with surprising results. Their findings are published by eLife.

Like the small intestine in mammals, the midgut of fruit flies is where most digestion takes place. Scientists had noticed a few regions in both the midgut and small intestine were specialized for certain tasks, such as absorbing iron, but had little understanding of the extent of these regional differences or how they were maintained.

Marianes and Spradling were able to demonstrate that there are 10 different major subregions within the fruit fly midgut. They occur in a specific order and each is responsible for different digestive and nutrient-storage processes, as evidenced by the expression of many specific genes. Most importantly, the adult stem cells in each region are specialized as well, and only support the types of cells found within it. Thus, during development, achieving the right spatial sequence of stem cells is probably critical to causing intestines to be built and maintained in order to function optimally.

The researchers also showed that tumors arise preferentially in specific regions of the midgut, a phenomenon well known in oncology. They showed the tumor-prone regions were specialized for lipid absorption, and stem cell function in them differed in small ways from stem cell function in other regions.

This work will motivate the search for fine-grained specialization in both tissue organization and in stem cells within many mammalian tissues. These subtle differences may explain the surprising results that are sometimes obtained following the removal or transplantation of human tissue. This must be considered carefully in ongoing attempts to utilize stem cells therapeutically.

Finally, it may be possible to learn what makes some stem cells more susceptible to cancer than others, and develop strategies to counteract this tendency.


Show Reference »


Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ScienceNewsline.
Related »

Cells 
11/26/13 

Researchers at Penn Uncover Mechanism Behind Blood Stem Cells' Longevity
By University of Pennsylvania
Matunis 
4/17/14 
Surprise: Lost Stem Cells Naturally Replaced by Non-stem Cells, Fly Research Suggests
By Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another …
Bone 
1/10/14 

KIT Researchers Develop Artificial Bone Marrow
By Helmholtz Association
Cells 
1/24/13 
Putting the Squeeze on Cells
By Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Living cells are surrounded by a membrane that tightly regulates what gets in and out of the cell. This barrier is necessary for cells to control …
Cells 
12/7/11 
Research Could Help People with Declining Sense of Smell
By University of California - Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists have discovered a genetic trigger that makes the nose renew its smell sensors, providing hope for new therapies for people who have lost their …
Cell 
9/14/11 
Shaping Up: Controlling a Stem Cell's Form Can Determine Its Fate
By National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
"Form follows function!" was the credo of early 20th century architects making design choices based on the intended use of the structure. Cell biologists may be turning that on …
More » 

Most Popular - Biology »
HIPPOCAMPUS »
Neurons in the Brain Tune into Different Frequencies for Different Spatial Memory Tasks
OLDFIELD »
Multitarget TB Drug Could Treat Other Diseases, Evade Resistance
EXPRESSION »
Trisomy 21: How an Extra Little Chromosome Throws the Entire Genome Off Balance
TRILL »
Rapid Whole-brain Imaging with Single Cell Resolution
A major challenge of systems biology is understanding how phenomena at the cellular scale correlate with activity at the organism level. A concerted effort has been made especially in …
DOMESTICATION »
The Story of Animal Domestication Retold
Many of our ideas about domestication derive from Charles Darwin, whose ideas in turn were strongly influenced by British animal-breeding practices during the 19th century, a period when landowners …
ScienceNewsline  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese
The selection and placement of stories are determined automatically by a computer program. All contents are copyright of their owners except U.S. Government works. U.S. Government works are assumed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted. Everything else copyright ScienceNewsline.