Glycoconj J (2017) 34:691 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10719-017-9803-6 EDITORIAL 1 2 Toshisuke Kawasaki & Robert K. Yu Published online: 6 November 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017 Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body in cells trigger each step of the differentiation process. several aspects. First, they can divide and renew them- Glycans attached to proteins (glycoproteins) and selves (self-renewing) for a long period of time, and sec- sphingolipids (glycosphingolipids) are mainly located at ond, they retain the ability to give rise to all cell types of the outermost surface of the cell. Significant alterations in the cellular glycoform may occur during differentiation the body (pluripotency). Stem cells are divided into two classes: embryonic stem cells and non-embryonic somatic and glycans could serve as specific stem cell markers and or adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells were first cellular differentiation biomarkers. In the last decade, established from early mouse embryos in 1981 (Evans many interesting findings have been reported in the field and Kaufman) and a convenient method to derive stem of glycobiology on stem cells. In addition, human iPS cells from human embryos was then developed in 1998 cells are already used as tools for drug development and (Thomson). In 2006, a major breakthrough was achieved disease modeling, and their most important potential ap- (Yamanaka) by identifying conditions that allow some plication is the generation of cells and tissues that can be adult cells to be Breprogrammed^ genetically to a stem used for regenerative medicine. Stem cell research is ob- cell-like state. This new type of stem cell is called induced viously one of the most fascinating and exciting areas of pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Adult stem cells can be found contemporary biology including glycobiology. among differentiated cells in a variety of tissues and or- This special issue comprises of 10 excellent review gans. The bone marrow contains two kinds of stem cells: articles covering from early discoveries in stem cell re- hematopoietic stem cells, which can form all the types of search to the cutting edge of the present technologies. It blood cells, and bone marrow stromal stem cells (also embraces glycomics (glycoproteins, glycolipids and pro- called mesenchymal stem cells), which can generate bone, teoglycans), signal transduction, regulation and metabo- cartilage and fat cells. The adult brain contains stem cells lism, and three attractive original articles on human iPS that are capable of generating the brain’s three major cell cells and mesenchymal stem cells. We sincerely hope that types: neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. this issue will contribute to a better understanding the When stem cells give rise to specialized cells in a pro- crucial roles of glycans in stem cell research and stimulate cess called differentiation, the signals inside and outside further research in this evolving area. * Toshisuke Kawasaki firstname.lastname@example.org Research Center for Glycobiotechnology, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA
Glycoconjugate Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 6, 2017
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