The liver is one of the few organs in our body that can regenerate itself, but how it occurs is a biological mystery. New research from BRIC, University of Copenhagen and the Finsen Laboratory, Rigshospitalet, has identified a protein complex that acts as a molecular switch turning on a self-regeneration program in the liver. The protein complex furthermore fine tunes liver metabolism, allowing this to run efficiently in parallel with the tissue damage repair. The new knowledge challenges the current focus on stem cells and may point towards future simplification of treatments used for repairing tissue damage.
“Our new data challenge the predominant ‘stem cell-mania’ as the results reveal important molecular mechanisms that enable ordinary liver cells to divide and repair tissue damage. This may point to ways of using ordinary liver cells for therapeutic purposes, as these cells may be easier to use than stem cells,” says Head of Clinic and Professor Bo Porse who has lead the investigation.
Protein complex turn on self-renewal genes
When the specialised cell types of our body are formed from stem cells during development, they generally lose the ability to divide and make new cells. Tissue renewal is therefore a job for the stem cells present in our body. One exception is the specialised cells of the liver called hepatocytes. They are responsible for the metabolic functions of the liver, but can at the same time produce new liver cells. How that is possible is a bit of a mystery.
“Our results show how a protein complex is changed upon damage to the liver, making it function as a ‘switch’ turning on a self-renewal program in the hepatocytes. The protein complex literally turns on selected genes that enable division of the hepatocytes, while maintaining their metabolic functions,” says postdoc Janus Schou Jakobsen, who has lead the experimental part of the investigation.
The extraordinary ability of the liver cells to divide almost indefinitely resembles the ability of stem cells to self-renew and this finding challenges the current focus on stem cells and stem cell therapy.
Self-renewal programs in non-stem cells
The new results from Bo Porse’s research group are consistent with new studies of self-renewal in the group of white blood cells called macrophages.
“We see a clear overlap in the molecular mechanisms controlling self-renewal in hepatocytes and macrophages and that could indicate the existence of a more general self-renewal program used by specialised cell types. If this is the case, it can really change the current perception that only stem cells are responsible for renewal of our tissues,” says Janus Schou Jakobsen.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Down the Rabbit Hole: A Look Into Academic Research in Biological Scienceson May 13, 2022 at 12:53 pm
Academia seems to be notorious for its flaws, but every scientist has a unique experience in academia; the world of research is vast.
- Small, mini, nano: Gear units created from a few atomson May 11, 2022 at 8:37 am
Research is now being carried out in the nanoscale on switches, rotors or motors that comprise of only a few atoms in order to build what are known as molecular machines. Ever smaller and more ...
- Exercise during pregnancy may yield metabolic benefits in grandchildrenon May 11, 2022 at 8:15 am
Goodyear and postdoctoral fellow Ana Alves-Wagner, who worked on the project in Goodyear's lab, discussed the research—published recently in the journal Molecular Metabolism—with the Gazette.
- Small, mini, nano: The world’s smallest gear wheelon May 11, 2022 at 1:37 am
Ever smaller and more intricate – without miniaturization, we wouldn’t have the components today that are required for high-performance laptops, compact smartphones or high-resolution endoscopes.
- Lucira Receives CE Mark for both COVID-19 & Flu and COVID-19 Molecular Testson May 9, 2022 at 5:00 am
Lucira's testing platform produces lab quality molecular testing in a single-use ... third parties in connection with the commercialization of its tests, including Jabil Inc., Switch Health and Lucira ...
- IBM’s VolCat process uses ‘molecular sorting’ to turn mixed-waste recyclate into virgin-grade PETon May 8, 2022 at 5:00 pm
There’s not a lot that can be done with colored PET,” explained Allen. “Using the VolCat molecular sorting process, selective digestion just chews up the polyester component and makes new PET with the ...
- Genetic Switch Turns Stomach Chief Cells into Stem Cells Upon Injuryon May 6, 2022 at 5:00 am
A new study has discovered a genetic switch that causes specialized secretory cells in the stomach to adopt a stem cell state.
- Double agents: How stomach stem cells change allegiance upon injuryon May 5, 2022 at 8:01 am
Upon injury, one “molecular switch” is enough to propel the stem cells from one state to the other. The findings, now published in Cell Stem Cell, could be instrumental in improving our understanding ...
- Developing the world's smallest gear wheelon April 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Research is now being carried out in the nanoscale on switches, rotors or motors that consist of only a few atoms in order to build what are known as molecular machines. A research team at FAU has ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Intercept Pharmaceuticals Reports First Quarter 2022 Financial Results and Provides Business Updateon May 6, 2022 at 4:21 am
MORRISTOWN, N.J, May 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICPT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics ...
- Alcohol-related fatty liver disease: Occurs in 90% of those who drink four units dailyon May 6, 2022 at 2:25 am
It adds: “The liver can develop new cells, but prolonged alcohol misuse (drinking too much) over many years can reduce its ability to regenerate ... can confidentially self-refer to for advice ...
- Seminars in Liver Diseaseon May 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm
The mammalian liver has an astounding capacity to regenerate after injury ... proliferation, (b) self-maintenance, (c) the production of large number of differentiated, functional progeny ...
- Children News and Researchon April 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Mammals can't typically regenerate organs as efficiently as other vertebrates, such as fish and lizards. Now, Salk scientists have found a way to partially reset liver cells to more youthful ...
- Liver-Cleansing Foods that Help Detox Your Bodyon April 26, 2022 at 5:01 am
Artichokes contain two compounds, cynarin and silymarin, which protect your liver cells and help them regenerate. They're also high in fiber and antioxidants, not to mention that they're ...
- Acute intoxication with cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in Montevideo beacheson April 18, 2022 at 4:05 pm
The liver histopathology had indicated hemorrhagic necrosis in zone 3, and cholestasis and nodular regeneration, which were not characteristic of AH-II. LC/ESI-HRMS (liquid chromatography ...
- Liver Disease- Donâ€™t wait for signs, it may be too lateon September 30, 2021 at 2:59 am
Otim says knowledge and self-empowerment regarding health ... for years without pronounced symptoms. The liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself and is responsible for removing toxins ...