About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Protein Behind Growth of Blood Cells Unveiled

by VR Sreeraman on August 15, 2008 at 12:23 PM
Font : A-A+

 Protein Behind Growth of Blood Cells Unveiled

Experts at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have discovered that a protein called Lnk is key to the normal growth of blood cells, shedding new light on the biological events that convert stem cells in the bone marrow into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood.

The researchers say that their findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants, and lead to better treatments for life-threatening blood diseases.


"As we better understand the biological pathways that regulate the growth of stem cells, we may identify new approaches for treating blood disorders," said Dr. Wei Tong, a hematology researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who led the study published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) develop into all types of blood cells-red blood cells, platelets and immune cells. They can give rise to mature, developed cells with more specific functions, as well as a new stem cell.

The Lnk protein helps control HSC expansion. When a growth factor in the blood called thrombopoietin (TPO) acts on its cell receptor, it triggers signals along a pathway that includes another protein, JAK2. JAK2, in turn, causes stem cells to increase their numbers.

A previous study led by Tong had suggested that Lnk was a negative regulator for HSCs, which acted as a brake on stem cell expansion.

In their latest study, her team observed that mice genetically engineered to lack the Lnk protein had 10 times the normal amount of HSCs in their bone marrow.

Without Lnk to directly interact with JAK2 and inhibit its activity, TPO made stem cell production go into overdrive.

However, there was an unexpected potential benefit-- the expanded population of stem cells had a higher proportion of quiescent cells, those in a resting stage in the cell cycle.

Tong said that quiescent stem cells were more likely to succeed in a recipient when they were used in bone marrow transplantation.

She believes that building on this knowledge, other researchers may be able to manipulate HSCs for more effective bone marrow transplants for cancer patients after high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

According to her, using a drug to inhibit Lnk could potentially produce larger numbers of HSCs for a successful bone marrow transplant.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Thalassemia Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes Blood in Stools - Symptom Evaluation Bombay Blood Group 

Recommended Reading
Stem Cells - Fundamentals
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Stem Cells...
Stem Cells - Cord Blood
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Cord Blood...
Advantages of Bone Marrow Stem Cells
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the advantages of using bone marrow cells...
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the cancer of white blood cells characterized by excess ......
Blood in Stools - Symptom Evaluation
Blood in stools results from bleeding that arises from any part of the digestive tract. Causes of bl...
Bombay Blood Group
Bombay blood group is a rare blood type in which the people have an H antigen deficiency. They can r...
Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes
Athletes can be physically fit by consuming a well balanced nutritious diet, which keeps them mental...
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder passed on through parental genes causing the body to prod...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use