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New method developed to expand blood stem cells for bone marrow transplant
Date:3/21/2013

ction signal that CUL4 recognizes and acts on," Dr. Zhou says.

The research team engineered a synthetic HOXB4 protein with a scrambled destruction signal. They produced large quantities of the protein in bacteria, and then delivered the protein into human blood stem cells in the laboratory. "When you mask the CUL4 degradation signal, HOXB4's half-life expands for up to 10 hours," Dr. Zhou says. "The engineered HOXB4 did its job to expand the stem cell, while keeping all its stem cell properties intact. As a result, cells receiving the engineered HOXB4 demonstrated superior expansion capacity than those given natural HOXB4 protein. Animal studies demonstrated that the transplanted engineered human stem cells can retain their stem cell-like qualities in mouse bone marrow."

Dr. Zhou says the engineered protein HOXB4 can potentially be administered every 10 hours or so to make the quantity of blood stem cells necessary for patient transplant and for banking.

"This is the ultimate goal for what we are trying to achieve," he says. "There are likely many roadblocks ahead to reach our goals, but we appear to have found ways to deal with one major hurdle of adult hematopoietic stem cell expansion."

Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC), on behalf of Cornell University, has filed a patent application that covers the work described here.


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Contact: Lauren Woods
Law2014@med.cornell.edu
646-317-7401
Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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