The ultimate success of global efforts to exploit adult stem cells for regenerative medicine will depend heavily on the availability of robust, highly selective stem cell surface markers that facilitate the isolation of stem cells from human tissues. Any subsequent expansion or manipulation of isolated stem cells will also require an intimate knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate these cells, to ensure maintenance of their regenerative capacities and to minimize the risk of introducing undesirable growth traits that could pose health risks for patients. A subclass of leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor (Lgr) proteins has recently gained prominence as adult stem cell markers with crucial roles in maintaining stem cell functions. Here, we discuss the major impact that their discovery has had on our understanding of adult stem cell biology in various self-renewing tissues and in accelerating progress towards the development of effective stem cell therapies.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|