STEM CELLS

Ribosomes regulate stem cell fate

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Science  13 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6227, pp. 1214
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6227.1214-d

Structure of the eukaryotic 80S ribosome, indicating areas where ribosomal protein genes were deleted

IMAGE: S. FORTIER ET AL., PNAS 112, 7 (17 FEBRUARY 2015) © 2015 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine holds enormous therapeutic potential. However, scientists still need to fully understand the molecular signals that control the ability of stem cells to self-renew and differentiate. To identify genes that many regulate this, Fortier et al. screened a library of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) containing chromosomal deletions. They found that the loss of a single copy of several genes encoding protein subunits of the ribosome, a large protein complex that translates mRNA into proteins, resulted in impaired ESC differentiation but did not affect self-renewal.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1418845112 (2015).

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