Skip to comments.Improved Adult-Derived Human Stem Cells Have Fewer Genetic Changes Than Expected
Posted on 05/01/2012 1:29:10 AM PDT by neverdem
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the National Human Genome Research Institute has evaluated the whole genomic sequence of stem cells derived from human bone marrow cells -- so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells -- and found that relatively few genetic changes occur during stem cell conversion by an improved method.
The findings, reported in the March issue of Cell Stem Cell, the official journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), will be presented at the annual ISSCR meeting in June.
"Our results show that human iPS cells accrue genetic changes at about the same rate as any replicating cells, which we don't feel is a cause for concern," says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D., a professor of medicine and oncology, and a member of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.
Each time a cell divides, it has the chance to make errors and incorporate new genetic changes in its DNA, Cheng explains. Some genetic changes can be harmless, but others can lead to changes in cell behavior that may lead to disease and, in the worst case, to cancer.
In the new study, the researchers showed that iPS cells derived from adult bone marrow cells contain random genetic changes that do not specifically predispose the cells to form cancer.
"Little research was done previously to determine the number of DNA changes in stem cells, but because whole genome sequencing is getting faster and cheaper, we can now more easily assess the genetic stability of these cells derived by various methods and from different tissues," Cheng says. Last year, a study published in Nature suggested higher than expected cancer gene mutation rates in iPS cells created from skin samples, which, according to Cheng, raised great concerns to many in the field pertaining to usefulness and...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...