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Stem cells

Niche cells rewired to maintain HSCs ex vivo

Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained in vivo by intrinsic programs and extrinsic niche signals. Ex vivo expansion of HSCs is limited, owing to reduced stem cell maintenance factors. A study now shows that rejuvenated niche cells can be obtained by transcriptional rewiring of specific genes that maintain and expand HSCs ex vivo.

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Competing interests

L.L. and several lab members are inventors on the following patents/patent applications: “Methods, kits and compositions for stem cell self-renewal,” “PTEN/Akt methods and compositions relating to BMP,” “Methods for treating chemoresistant cancer-initiating cells,” “Methods and systems useful in culturing hematopoietic stem cells,” and “Methods of identifying stem cells in normal and cancerous tissues and related progeny.” The patents and patent applications are all assigned to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. L.L. and the other inventors are entitled to share of any proceeds generated by the intellectual property. Currently, none of the above are actively licensed.

Correspondence to Linheng Li.

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Fig. 1: Ex vivo expansion of HSCs on rewired niche cells.