published: 18.10.2013, 12:13 | updated: 18.10.2013 12:28:10
Brno - Scientists from Czech Masaryk University have uncovered an enzyme that is decisive for the future role of stem cells in the early stage of man´s development that can be used in the future in the preparation of effective curative cells in some neurodegenerative diseases, they said today.
They said a small protein designated PTP1B is responsible for whether the specific cell will become the basis of internal organs, or of the nervous system.
The research result has been confirmed after long-time checking and published by the prestigious scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.
It was believed for long that only two molecules are behind the system, but now a third, may be the key one, has been added to them.
Petr Dvorak, head of the Biological Institute of the Medicine Faculty of Masaryk University, said perhaps all existing methods were applied in checking the discovery.
If the PTP1B enzyme is much active, specialised cells develop from stem cells in the embryo and they create for instance the liver. If the activity of the enzyme is low, nerve cells are created and they build perhaps the brain, the research team head, British scientist of Taiwanese origin, Sun Yuman said.
Though this is only basic research, the discovery may have practical effects in the future. It could facilitate the treatment of serious neurodegenerative diseases, such as the Parkinson disease, with cell therapy.
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