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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 20;102(51):18461-6. Epub 2005 Dec 13.

Two types of precursor cells in a multipotential hematopoietic cell line.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.


The biochemistry of early stages of hematopoietic differentiation is difficult to study because only relatively small numbers of precursor cells are available. The murine EML cell line is a multipotential cell line that can be used to model some of these steps. We found that the lineage- EML precursor cells can be separated into two populations based on cell surface markers including CD34. Both populations contain similar levels of stem cell factor (SCF) receptor (c-Kit) but only the CD34+ population shows a growth response when treated with SCF. Conversely, the CD34- population will grow in the presence of the cytokine IL-3. The human beta-globin locus control region hypersensitive site 2 plays different roles on beta-globin transcription in the CD34+ and CD34- populations. The two populations are present in about equal amounts in culture, and the CD34+ population rapidly regenerates the mixed population when grown in the presence of SCF. We suggest that this system may mimic a normal developmental transition in hematopoiesis.

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