Mysteries of cell fate unlocked with new measurement and modeling techniques

May 14, 2020

Drs. Marjorie BrandTed Perkins and Jeffrey Ranish have found a missing link needed to fully understand how stem cells become specialized cells. 

Researchers have studied this process known as differentiation for years, but were missing key information about the concentrations of proteins called transcription factors (TF) inside a cell’s nucleus. The team provided insights never seen before by making multiple absolute measurements along a cell’s lineage — from stem cell to red blood cell. Their findings published in the journal Molecular Cell show the absolute concentration of 103 TFs and co-factors during the course of red blood cell formation. 

These findings are broadly applicable to all types of cells, not just red blood cells, and are valuable resources for researchers around the world to explore biological territory that they simply couldn’t before.  

Source: Molecular Cell 

Authors: Mark A. Gillespie, Carmen G. Palii, Daniel Sanchez-Taltavull, Paul Shannon, William J.R. Longabaugh, Damien J. Downes, Karthi Sivaraman, Herbert M. Espinoza, Jim R. Hughes, Nathan D. Price, Theodore J. Perkins, Jeffrey A. Ranish, Marjorie Brand 

Funding: National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust Strategic Award, Medical Research Council Core Funding. Research at The Ottawa Hospital is possible because of generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation 

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

Media Contact

Amelia Buchanan
Senior Communication Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73687
Cell: 613-297-8315