Tuesday, 10 May 2011 17:42

RUB: Stem cells can be distinguished on the basis of sugar residues Featured

Researchers in Bochum have produced an antibody that allows them to distinguish the numerous types of stem cells in the nervous system better than before.

The research group lead by Prof. Dr. Andreas Faissner has now been able to use LewisX for the first time to separate different types of stem cells. The researchers report on their results in the Journal of Biological Chemistry: (Hennen E, Czopka T, Faissner A (2011): Structurally Distinct LewisX Glycans Distinguish Subpopulations of Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 286: 16321-16331. doi 10.1074/jbc.M110.201095).

Antibodies that recognise the LewisX sugar residue are used routinely to identify so-called neural stem cells from which the various cells of the nervous system originate. Prof. Faissner’s team has now shown that the designation “LewisX” does not just cover a single sugar motif, but a whole range of different sugar residues. “This sugar diversity could also be interesting for cancer diagnosis” Prof. Faissner explained, “because LewisX sugars have also been detected on tumour cells”.

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Further information
Prof. Dr. Andreas Faissner
Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology at the Ruhr-Universität
Department of Cell Morphology and Molecular Neurobiology,
Phone: +49 (0)234/32-14313
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