Novel marker discovered for stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood

April 17, 2014
©2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

The development of stem cell therapies to cure a variety of diseases depends on the ability to characterize stem cell populations based on cell surface markers. Researchers from the Finnish Red Cross have discovered a new marker that is highly expressed in a type of stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood, which they describe in an article in BioResearch Open Access.

Heli Suila and colleagues, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland present evidence to show that the glycan O-GLcNAc, is present on the surface of and is part of a stem cell-specific surface signature. In the article "Extracellular O-Linked N-Acetylglucosamine Is Enriched in Stem Cells Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood" the authors suggest that the glycan plays a crucial role in a cell signaling pathway that regulates embryonic development.

"This work is particularly interesting as epidermal growth factor domains are found on the Notch receptors, suggesting that these novel glycans may be involved in Notch receptor signaling pathways in stem cells," says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Explore further: Fat cells prolong survival of human stem cells grown in vitro

More information: The article is available free on the BioResearch Open Access website.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

August 26, 2015

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, ...

Research identifies protein that regulates body clock

August 26, 2015

New research into circadian rhythms by researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga shows that the GRK2 protein plays a major role in regulating the body's internal clock and points the way to remedies for jet lag ...

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

August 21, 2015

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.