The enzyme fumarase is crucial for the production of new blood cells, according to scientists in Edinburgh.
The researchers say that further studies of fumarase may provide ways of improving stem cell therapy.
The research was undertaken because children with fumarase deficiency may have blood defects.
The researchers studied the enzyme in laboratory mice and found that deletion of the enzyme caused major defects in the production of blood cells.
The findings have been reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Researcher Professor Kamil Kranc, from Edinburgh University, UK, said: 'Stem cell metabolism is an emerging field of research with an immense therapeutic potential.
'In future, we hope to identify the biochemical pathways affected by fumarate in stem cells and, by manipulating these pathways, improve the success of stem cell transplant therapies.'
Source: Fumarate hydratase is a critical metabolic regulator of hematopoietic stem cell functions Journal of Experimental Medicine 15 February 2017
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