Cookie Settings

We use cookies to optimize our website. These include cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as those that are only used for anonymous statistic. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Further information can be found in our data privacy protection .

Essential

These cookies are necessary to run the core functionalities of this website and cannot be disabled.

Name Webedition CMS
Purpose This cookie is required by the CMS (Content Management System) Webedition for the system to function correctly. Typically, this cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.
Name econda
Purpose Session cookie emos_jcsid for the web analysis software econda. This runs in the “anonymized measurement” mode. There is no personal reference. As soon as the user leaves the site, tracking is ended and all data in the browser are automatically deleted.
Statistics

These cookies help us understand how visitors interact with our website by collecting and analyzing information anonymously. Depending on the tool, one or more cookies are set by the provider.

Name econda
Purpose Statistics
External media

Content from external video platforms is blocked by default. If cookies from external media are accepted, access to this content no longer requires manual consent.

Name Youtube
Purpose External media

New technology provides insight into the development of immune cells

No. 48c | 12/08/2020 | by Thiel

The entire range of our blood and immune cells are derived from hematopoietic stem cells. Yet which genes influence how they develop into the different cell types? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now developed a new technology to answer this question. A genetic marker system enables researchers to follow which development path the cells take at the same time as identifying which genes are actively transcribed as messenger RNAs.

© Rodewald/DKFZ

During hematopoiesis, the various blood cells – blood platelets and red and white blood cells – arise in the bone marrow from hematopoietic stem cells via several precursor stages. The methods available to date enabled researchers to either follow the fate of the stem cells or to study which genes are transcribed and turned into RNA in stem cells. Thorsten Feyerabend's team under Hans-Reimer Rodewald at the DKFZ has now teamed up with systems biologist Thomas Höfer, also from the DKFZ, to develop a new technology that combines both these aspects for the first time.

PolyloxExpress barcoding is based on a system also developed by Rodewald's laboratory for the genetic marking of cells that works like a barcode. It makes use of the fact that DNA sequences at a location on the genome that does not contain any genetic information are reorganized randomly or removed following activation of Cre, which acts as molecular "scissors." As this creates up to 1.8 million different DNA sequences, the stem cells receive a personal code that is passed on during cell division, transcribed as messenger RNAs, and can be followed during development of the immune cells.

The researchers have now combined this marking system with RNA single cell analysis to examine the transcriptome, in other words the entire set of all genes actively transcribed from DNA into RNA in a cell. "We tested the system on mouse blood stem cells and were thus able to demonstrate that hematopoietic stem cells have different characteristic transcription profiles depending on the type of cell that they go on to generate. This is the first step in identifying the molecular factors that determine which particular cell type a stem cell gives rise to, " explained Rodewald. "The system also has great potential beyond that: In principle, it can be transferred to stem cells in other organs or tissues." The refined barcode system might also be useful in future for studies on the development and spread of cancer, for example by providing information about which cells in a tumor can form metastases.

Weike Pei, Fuwei Shang, Xi Wang, Ann-Kathrin Fanti, Alessandro Greco, Katrin Busch, Kay Klapproth, Qin Zhang, Claudia Quedenau, Sascha Sauer, Thorsten B. Feyerabend, Thomas Höfer, and Hans-Reimer Rodewald: Resolving Fates and Single-Cell Transcriptomes of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Clones by PolyloxExpress Barcoding. Cell Stem Cell 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.07.018

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. More than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from developing cancer. They are developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to all questions on cancer.

Jointly with partners from the university hospitals, the DKFZ operates the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center KiTZ in Heidelberg. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of the six German Centers for Health Research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. NCT and DKTK sites combine excellent university medicine with the high-profile research of the DKFZ. They contribute to the endeavor of transferring promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improving the chances of cancer patients.

The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

RSS-Feed

Subscribe to our RSS-Feed.

to top
powered by webEdition CMS