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Mutant Gene Controls How Stem Cells Become Skin Cells.

SCIENTISTS AT THE University of Bath have identified how mutations in a gene called parade control the maturation of stem cells that become pigment cells in zebrafish.

Pigment stem cells are formed early in development, but don't mature into a final cell type until adulthood. The final cell type of stem cells is determined by the "stem cell niche," which includes factors such as surrounding cell types, blood supply and signals from nerves.

"Stem cells are a fundamental aspect of our and most multicellular animals' bodies. Understanding how they work is of intrinsic interest," Robert Kelsh in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath explained to ALN. "These stem cells are often involved in tissue maintenance of the body, and so might be harnessed for therapeutic purposes if we understood how to control them."

In particular mutations of the gene parade, abnormally large numbers of pigment cells position themselves near main blood vessels.

The research, published in PLOS Genetics, revealed that these strangely-positioned pigment cells are derived from a newly-discovered population of stem cells, which are activated by the mutant variations of parade.

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Publication:Laboratory Equipment
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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