Tongji Provides a New Clue for Research of Stem Cells And their Transformational Application

The Research group, led by Professor Sun Fangling from the School of Life Sciences and Technology of Tongji University, together with another group from the School of Medicine of Tsinghua University, published their collaborative research result on-line, with the title “Histone H1-mediated epigenetic regulation controls germline stem cell self-renewal by modulating H4K16 acetylation” on Nature Communication. The joint authors of the paper are researchers from Tongji University Advanced Institute of Translational Medicine and School of Medicine of Tsinghua University. The joint correspondents are Professor Sun Fangling and Professor Ni Jianquan.

The research of stem cells and their transformational applications have been a hot spot issue in the international biomedical field. The research shows that the application of stem cells is endowed with promising future in clinic treatment. However, it still remains to find how the stem cells maintain their characteristics in tissue and develop into cells and tissues with particular functions. Research shows that specific epigenetic can form a close control loop around stem cells and surrounding ‘microenvironment’. If the dosage of histone H1-mediated in germline stem cell is lower, germline stem cell will be differentiated in advance and lead to the decrease of gametids and even sterility in model organism. But if the dosage of histone H1-mediated changes in the microenvironment of the stem cells, self-renewal of stem cell will be affected and even ovarian neoplasm will be found in ovarian tissue. By further analyzing the regulation control mechanism, researchers found that histone H1-mediated together with H4K16 acetylation affect the key gene which plays an important role in cellular differentiation and epigenetic reprogramming. Professor Fang and Professor Ni’s research has provided an essential clue about stem cell self-renewal and directional differentiation.

The research was conducted as a "Major National Research Project” and key project of National Natural Science Foundation of China. It was published on the website of Nature Communication on November 19th, 2015.


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