Regulating hematopoietic stem cell homeostasis and leukemogenesis

April 15, 2008

In the April 15th issue of G&D, Dr. Richard Flavell (Yale University) and colleagues identify the c-Cbl protein as a critical repressor of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal. In addition to establishing a key role for protein ubiquitylation in HSC development, this finding posits c-Cbl as a potential target in research into stem cell engineering as well as cell-based leukemia treatments.

Dr. Flavell describes the work as elucidating “a novel dimension in our understanding the self-renewal of Hematopoietic stem cells."

Like all stem cell populations, HSC reply upon asymmetric cell division to generate two different daughter cells: one future stem cell, and another cell that will further differentiate into a more specialized cell type. Thus, a balance is struck between the production of new cell types and the renewal of the stem cell pool. However, imbalances between HSC self-renewal and differentiation can lead to hematologic malignancies like leukemia.

Dr. Flavell’s group discovered that the E3 ubiquitin ligase, c-Cbl, suppresses HSC self-renewal. The researchers generated transgenic mice deficient in c-Cbl, and demonstrated that these c-Cbl-mutant mice display an increased number of HSCs.

Lead author, Dr. Chozhavendan Rathinam, is confident that "our findings may facilitate the expansion and manipulation of hematopoietic stem cells for tissue engineering and stem cell based therapies."

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Explore further: Researchers point way to improved stem cell transplantation therapies

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Art advancing science at the nanoscale

October 18, 2017

Like many other scientists, Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute, is concerned that non-scientists have become skeptical and even fearful of his field at a time when technology can offer solutions ...

New type of electron lens for next-generation colliders

October 18, 2017

Sending bunches of protons speeding around a circular particle collider to meet at one specific point is no easy feat. Many different collider components work keep proton beams on course—and to keep them from becoming unruly.

Scientists discover path to improved barley quality

October 18, 2017

Scientists from the International Barley Hub have discovered a genetic pathway to improved barley grain size and uniformity, a finding which may help breeders develop future varieties suited to the needs of growers and distillers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.