Professor Smith is the Director of the Wellcome Trust/MRC Stem Cell Institute.
The main objective of this group is to characterise the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the self-renewal and differentiation of multipotential embryo stem cells, of mouse, rat and human origin. Stem cells are defined by the ability both to produce identical daughter cells (self-renewal), and to produce progeny with more restricted fates (commitment and differentiation). This property of stem cells underpins growth and diversification during development and sustains homeostasis and repair processes throughout adult life. An understanding of molecular mechanisms which govern stem cell fate is therefore of fundamental significance in cell and developmental biology and the capabilities arising from such knowledge have major biomedical applications. Embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are derived directly from the pluripotential cells of the earlymouse embryo, can be propagated and manipulated in vitro whilst retaining their full potential for multi-lineage development. Our strategy is to exploit these prototypic stem cell cultures for the identification and characterisation of key regulatory molecules, to determine the significance of these molecules in vitro and in vivo, and thence to develop improved methods of stem cell propagation and manipulation.
Lab members: Joerg Betschinger, Kate Blair, Yaoyao Chen, James Clarke, Elizabeth Cook, Ge Guo, Julliane Halley, Kristine Jucikaite, Tuzer Kalkan, Masaki Kinoshita, Raja Kittapa, Martin Leeb, Harry Leitch, Graziano Martello, Gillian Morrison, Carla Mulas, Christy Prawiro, Melanie Rittirsch, Jignesh Tailor, Rika Takashima, Yasuhiro Takashima, Elena Tzouranacou
1. Chambers, I., Colby, D., Robertson, M., Nichols, J., Lee, S., Tweedie, S. and Smith, A.G. (2003). Functional expression cloning of Nanog, a pluripotency sustaining factor in mouse embryonic stem cells. Cell113: 643-655
2. Ying, Q.-L., Nichols, J., Chambers, I., and Smith, A.G. (2003). BMP induction of Id proteins suppresses differentiation and sustains embryonic stem cell self-renewal in collaboration with STAT3. Cell115: 281-292
3. Chambers, I. and Smith, A.G. (2004) Self-renewal of teratocarcinoma and embryonic stem cells. Oncogene 23: 7150-7160
4. Conti, L, Pollard, S.M., Gorba, T., Reitano, E., Toselli, M., Biella, G., Sun, Y., Sanzone, S, Ying, Q.-L., Cattaneo, E. and Smith, A.G. (2005) Niche-Independent Symmetrical Self-Renewal of a Mammalian Tissue Stem Cell PLoS Biol. 2005 Aug 16;3(9):e283