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Cell. 1993 Dec 17;75(6):1157-67.

Molecular cloning of a ligand for the flt3/flk-2 tyrosine kinase receptor: a proliferative factor for primitive hematopoietic cells.

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Immunex Research and Development Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98101.


Cloning of a ligand for the murine flt3/flk-2 tyrosine kinase receptor was undertaken using a soluble form of the receptor to identify a source of ligand. A murine T cell line, P7B-0.3A4, was identified that appeared to express a cell surface ligand for this receptor. A cDNA clone was isolated from an expression library prepared from these cells that was capable, when transfected into cells, of conferring binding to a soluble form of the flt3/flk-2 receptor. The cDNA for this ligand encodes a type I transmembrane protein that stimulates the proliferation of cells transfected with the flt3/flk-2 receptor. A soluble form of the ligand stimulates the proliferation of defined subpopulations of murine bone marrow and fetal liver cells as well as human bone marrow cells that are highly enriched for hematopoietic stem cells and primitive uncommitted progenitor cells.

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