Scientists have discovered how stem cells cause muscle regeneration
New drugs could be developed to repair muscles faster after an injury or to rebuild muscle mass lost through normal aging.
Researchers at the Salk Institute discovered a mechanism through which stem cells help regenerate muscle. This discovery could be used as a drug target to repair muscles following injury or to rebuild muscle mass that has been lost due the normal aging processes.
This breakthrough was made possible by a group of proteins known as Yamanaka factors. These proteins have been studied for years and are a crucial part of stem cell therapies. These factors can be used to transform regular skin cells into induced pluripotent cells (iPS), allowing them to go on and differentiate into other cell types. That in turn helps regenerate tissue. The exact mechanism by which the Yamanaka factor worked remained a secret.
Chao Wang is the first author of this study. \”Our laboratory has previously shown that these factors can rejuvenate cell and promote tissue regeneration in living animals,\” says Wang. But how this occurs was not known previously.