Ever since the impact of stem cells on disease treatment was discovered, companies have been researching how to force adult cells to act like stem cells so they can be used to treat diseases. It is believed that erasing a cell’s epigenetic memory would revert it back to this stem cell stage. Researchers from the Babraham Institute, University of Stuttgart, and University of Otago have been collaborating on a project that investigates how vitamins A and C can affect cell memory. They found that both vitamins help cells “forget” things and could possibly be used to create stem cells.
- Researchers at the Babraham Institute and their international collaborators have discovered how vitamins A and C act to modify the epigenetic ‘memory’ held by cells.
- Cells with this ability are present in the early embryo (embryonic stem cells, ESC) and give rise to the many different cell types in the body.
- The researchers looked at the molecular signals that control TET activity to understand more about how the activity of the TET enzymes can be manipulated during cellular programming to achieve pluripotency.
“Vitamins A and C aren’t just good for your health, they affect your DNA too.”