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Gene Modifying of Stem Cells

Gene modification of stem cells refers to the process of altering the genetic information of stem cells using various techniques. This field of research holds tremendous promise for potential applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and personalized therapies.

In theory, it is possible to edit the genome of any cell that contains DNA, which includes the following types of stem cells:

  • ▶   tissue (adult) stem cells;
  • ▶   germline stem cells (sperm cells, oocytes/eggs) and cells in the early embryo;
  • ▶   pluripotent stem cells (such as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells).

Methods

Gene knock-in and knock-out: Gene editing technique enables the precise insertion (knock-in) or deletion (knock-out) of specific genes in the genome of stem cells. This can be used to study gene functions, explore disease mechanisms, and develop therapeutic strategies.

Point mutation: Gene editing technology enables the introduction of precis point mutations (single base changes) into the genome of stem cells. This allows for the simulation of human genetic mutations or disease-related mutations. This helps to study the impact of genetic variations on cellular functions and disease development.

Gene labeling: Gene editing in stem cells can also be used for genome modifications, such as adding labels or reporter genes. This allows for the tracking of cell migration, cell differentiation, and the study of cell behavior. Such modifications enable researchers to gain valuable insights into the dynamic processes of stem cells and their behavior within biological systems.

Gene regulation: Gene editing techniques provide a powerful means to modify the expression levels of specific genes in stem cells. Through inserting or deleting regulatory elements like promoters, enhancers, or repressors, it enhances or suppresses the expression of target genes. This enables researchers to explore the intricate gene regulatory network and gain a deeper understanding of how specific genes are controlled and regulated in stem cells.

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