ANN ARBOR, Mich.— University of Michigan researchers have discovered that a protein known to regulate cellular metabolism is also necessary for normal cell division in blood-forming stem cells. Loss of the protein results in an abnormal number of chromosomes and a high rate of cell death.
The finding demonstrates that stem cells are metabolically different from other blood-forming cells, which can divide without the protein, Lkb1. This metabolic difference could someday be used to better control the behavior of blood-forming stem cells used in disease treatments, said Sean Morrison, director of the U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology, which is based at the Life Sciences Institute. (more…)