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Protein YTHDF2 protects hematopoietic stem cells

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Scientists discover safeguard that protects blood's 'Fountain of Youth'

The study is the first to reveal a protein that has a crucial role in protecting the blood's stem cells

the protein, known as YTHDF2, protects these stem cells from damage when the body is fighting an infection and allows them to continue functioning correctly throughout life.

They treated YTHDF2 deficient young mice with a chemical that mimics a viral infection to investigate whether the protein had a role during the immune response or inflammation.

The team found that the YTHDF2 deficient mice's hematopoietic stem cells displayed signs of chronic inflammation that limited their long–term ability to produce new blood cells.

In the absence of YTHDF2, the damage to the young mice's stem cells altered the production of blood cell types, causing them to resemble the blood of much older mice.

Further studies are needed to reveal whether manipulating YTHDF2 levels during ageing could help preserve stem cells and improve their ability to fight infections.

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