By Sean Marshall
It was announced this week by news medical net that a key protein in developing stem cells has been isolated. It was explained that these gene is “a key protein controlling stem cell properties that could make them more useful in regenerative medicine,”
The protein itself is called zinc finger protein 217 or ZEF17 for short. According to the report ZEF217 regulates “the actions of genes that maintain a balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.” What this means is that ZPF217 can be used to maintain or even create therapeutic stem cells. The main focus is to use this protein to help cure cancer as explained by Martin Walsh PhD. “At the same time, as the human ZNF217 is associated with poor survival in a variety of cancers, understanding how this protein operates in physiological conditions may help to predict cancer risk, achieve earlier diagnosis and provide novel therapeutic approaches."
This doesn’t mean however that the implications for sickle cell anemia research isn't there. In fact the sickening of cells could be reversed of even stopped with a better understanding of ZEF217. The idea would be to apply the therapeutic methods on the particular DNA sequence that causes the red blood cells to sickle.
Then if applied properly red blood cells could take on the normal non circled trait allowing for a normal life without fear of sickle cell related illness or complications.
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