Study Identifies Essential Molecule in Formation of Differentiated Blood Cells
Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s have identified a protein that controls the formation of different types of mature blood cells – a finding that could be important to developing new treatments for blood diseases and helping realize the potential of regenerative medicine.
The study, published online in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, focuses on a protein called RhoA, a GTPase that serves as a molecular switch in the cytoplasm of cells to control cell function.
The study shows RhoA is necessary for proper regulation of a cellular process called cytokinesis during the final stage of cell division in hematopoietic progenitor cells, which produce specific types of blood cells. Cytokinesis helps control the separation and grouping of genetic material as cells divide to decide their eventual fate.
Although the research was conducted in mouse models, the investigators said their findings will be important to the future study of various blood diseases, immune disorders and cancers. The data could also be useful for research into prospective strategies for regenerative medicine, in which pluripotent stem cells could be used to attempt the repair or regrowth of damaged tissues.