'Protein fingerprint' for masters of regeneration, the flatworms
Smart method with flatworm stem cells enables the identification of proteins that could also be considerably responsible for the behavior of mammalian stem cells
Planarians are flatworms, which are known as masters of regeneration for quite some time now: they can build virtually any part of the body or any organ after amputation. Their regeneration ability relies on a large amount of adult pluripotent stem cells, alrounder-cells, which are spread in almost all parts of the body. This makes flatworms an excellent model organism for stem cell research. However, the methods for investigating the flatworm are not well established so far. Dr. Kerstin Bartscherer, Max Planck Research Group leader at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, and colleagues have therefore developed a method for analyzing 'protein fingerprints' in Planarians. In this course, the scientists discovered a protein that not only ensures the conservation of the stem cell depot in Planarian, but that also exists in the nucleus of pluripotent stem cells of mouse embryos (Cell Reports, online first 21 November 2013).