A key protein for converting adult stem cells into cells that resemble embryonic stem cells has been visualized in unprecedented detail by an international team of researchers around Hans Schöler and Vlad Cojocaru of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster. By combing experiments and computer simulations, the team visualized how the Oct4 protein binds and opens short pieces of DNA while wrapped around nuclear storage proteins (histones), just like in our genome. The results were published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research on September 22.
More than microscopes can show
Computer simulations visualize how an essential stem cell protein opens wrapped DNA