My cousin is having a lot of trouble with a problem from her Molecular Biology course. She's getting pretty stressed about it and has asked me for some help. Unfortunately, this stuff is way beyond my understanding! So I told her I'd ask around, see if any of my brilliant amigos might know, because most of you are smarter than me, I'm sure. ;)
"A group of embryonic stem cells, these particular cells have a
temperature sensitive mutation in a Gas (G-alpha-s). This G-protein is locked on at 33ºC and off at 37ºC. At the latter temperature in vitro, these cells remain undifferentiated (self-renewal) in the presence of a cytokine (LIF) but differentiate into epithelial cells forming tubular structures in the presence of HGF (growth factor). When the cells are exposed to both LIF and HGF at 37ºC, the cells undergo self-renewal only. Repeating the above experiments at 33ºC resulted in the cells differentiating in all cases.
Describe the signaling cascades and the interactions between them that would explain the above results. Explain the approach(es) you would take to experimentally test the interactions you proposed."
NOTE: Even if you don't know the answer yourself (I'm never that lucky, natch) do you maybe know of a group or forum where I can go to ask/find the answer? Any help will be appreciated!