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Exp Hematol. 1999 Aug;27(8):1282-94.

CD109 is expressed on a subpopulation of CD34+ cells enriched in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

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SyStemix Inc., Novartis Company, Palo Alto, CA, USA.


CD109 is a monomeric cell surface glycoprotein of 170 kD that is expressed on endothelial cells, activated but not resting T-lymphocytes, activated but not resting platelets, leukemic megakaryoblasts, and a subpopulation of bone marrow CD34+ cells. Observing an apparent association between CD109 expression and the megakaryocyte lineage (MK), we sought to determine whether CD109 was expressed on MK progenitors. In fetal bone marrow (FBM), a rich source of MK progenitors, CD109 is expressed on a mean of 11% of CD34- cells. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) of FBM CD34+ cells into CD109+ and CD109- fractions revealed that the CD34+CD109+ subset contained virtually all assayable MK progenitors, including the colony-forming unit-MK (CFU-MK) and the more primitive burst-forming unit-MK (BFU-MK). The CD34+CD109+ subset also contained all the assayable burst-forming units-erythroid (BFU-E), 90% of the colony-forming units-granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM), and all of the more primitive mixed lineage colony-forming units (CFU-mix). In contrast, phenotypic analysis of the CD34+CD109- cells in FBM, adult bone marrow (ABM) and cytokine-mobilized peripheral blood (MPB) demonstrated that this subset comprises lymphoid-committed progenitors, predominantly of the B-cell lineage. CD109 was expressed on the brightest CD34 cells identifiable not only in FBM, but also in ABM and MPB indicating that the most primitive, candidate hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) might also be contained in the CD109+ subset. In long-term marrow cultures of FBM CD34+ cells, all assayable cobblestone area forming cell (CAFC) activity was contained within the CD109+ cell subset. Further phenotypic analysis of the CD34+CD109+ fraction in ABM indicated that this subset included candidate HSCs that stain poorly with CD38, but express Thy-1 (CD90) and AC133 antigens, and efflux the mitochondrial dye Rhodamine 123 (Rho123). When selected CD34+ cells were sorted for CD109 expression and Rho123 staining, virtually all CAFC activity was found in the CD109+ fraction that stained most poorly with Rho123. CD34+ cells were also sorted into Thy-1 CD109+ and Thy-1 CD109+ fractions and virtually all the CAFC activity was found in the Thy-1+CD109+ subset. In contrast, the Thy-1-CD109+ fraction contained most of the short-term colony-forming cell (CFC) activity. CD109, therefore, is an antigen expressed on a subset of CD34+ cells that includes pluripotent HSCs as well as all classes of MK and myelo-erythroid progenitors. In combination with Thy-1, CD109 can be used to identify and separate myelo-erythroid and all classes of MK progenitors from candidate HSCs.

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