Stem Cells That Turn into Red Blood Cells

In ALL ARTICLES on August 26, 2009 at 11:04 am

rbc's glow redScientists engineer stem cells to turn into red blood cells

August 26th, 2009 – 1:41 pm ICT by IANS Tell a Friend –

Sydney, Aug 26 (IANS) Stem cell scientists have modified a human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line to glow red when they become red blood cells.

The modified hESC line, ErythRED, opens the way to generating mature, fully functional red blood cells (RBCs) from human embryonic stem cells.

The research was led by Andrew Elefanty and Ed Stanley, both professors at the Monash University (M-U) Immunology and Stem Cell Labs.

Whilst hESCs have the potential to turn into any cell type in the body, it remains a scientific challenge to reliably turn these stem cells into specific types such as the RBCs.

The development of the ErythRED embryonic stem cell line, which fluoresces red when haemoglobin genes are switched on, is an important development that will help researchers to optimise the conditions that generate these cells, said a Monash release.

“Not only will the ErythRED cell line lead to more efficient creation of red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, but these cells are a crucial tool for monitoring the behaviour of the cells when transplanted into animal models,” said Elefanty.

via Scientists engineer stem cells to turn into red blood cells.


Brief Communication abstract

Nature Methods
Published online: 23 August 2009 | doi:10.1038/nmeth.1364

ErythRED, a hESC line enabling identification of erythroid cells

Tanya Hatzistavrou1, Suzanne J Micallef1, Elizabeth S Ng1, Jim Vadolas2, Edouard G Stanley1,3 & Andrew G Elefanty1,3

A human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line that enabled globin-expressing cells to be easily recognized would facilitate optimization of erythroid differentiation in vitro and aid in the identification of hESC-derived erythroid cells in transplanted animals. We describe a genetically modified hESC line, ErythRED, in which expression of RFP, controlled by regulatory sequences from the human beta-globin locus control region, is restricted to maturing erythroid cells.

  1. Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
  2. Cell and Gene Therapy Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
  3. These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to: Andrew G Elefanty1,3 e-mail: andrew.elefanty@med.monash.edu.au

via http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmeth.1364.html

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