Image adapted from doi: 10.3180/r-hsa-1632852.1, reactome.org/PathwayBrowser/#/R-HSA-9612973

Article Writer-   Minakshi  Kumari, MSc. Biotechnology , RCA, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology ,Udaipur, Rajsthan(India)

Embryonic Stem cells have the characteristics of self-renewal and pluripotency i.e. ability to give rise to every type of cells except the placenta and umbilical cord. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed two novel ways for manipulating these eminent characteristics of stem cells through Chaperone Mediated Autophagy (CMA) and alpha-Ketoglutarate.

Autophagy is the ‘self-eating’ process essential for the metabolism of various living cells. CMA is found only in mammalian cells. It has been found that when CMA activity is at minimum, there is a high level of alpha-ketoglutarate, essential for maintaining a pluripotent state. At the time of differentiation, CMA activity gets increased along with this, there is a degradation of enzymes responsible for alpha- ketoglutarate formation. Hence, it has been concluded that CMA and alpha-ketoglutarate regulate the fate of embryonic cells.

These findings would prove crucial for the development of tissue or organ regeneration therapy and regenerative medicine.

Journal Reference:

BY YI XU, YANG ZHANG, JUAN C. GARCÍA-CAÑAVERAS, LILI GUO, MENGYUAN KAN, SIXIANG YU, IAN A. BLAIR, JOSHUA D. RABINOWITZ, XIAOLU YANG, Chaperone-mediated autophagy regulates the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells, SCIENCE24 JUL 2020 : 397-403, Vol. 369, Issue 6502, DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4467