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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 412075, 12 pages
Research Article

Ex Vivo Expansion of Functional Human UCB-HSCs/HPCs by Coculture with AFT024-hkirre Cells

1Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
2Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, University of Agriculture, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
3State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
5Department of Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
6Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
7Institue of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan

Received 15 April 2013; Revised 30 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Heide Schatten

Copyright © 2014 Muti ur Rehman Khan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Kiaa1867 (human Kirre, hKirre) has a critical role in brain development and/or maintenance of the glomerular slit diaphragm in kidneys. Murine homolog of this gene, mKirre expressed in OP9 and AFT024 cells could support hematopoietic stem cells/hematopoietic progenitor cells (HSC/HPC) expansion in vitro. HKirre is also expressed in human FBMOB-hTERT cell line and fetal liver fibroblast-like cells but its function has remained unclear. In this paper, we cloned a hKirre gene from human fetal liver fibroblast-like cells and established a stably overexpressing hKirre-AFT024 cell line. Resultant cells could promote self-renewal and ex vivo expansion of HSCs/HPCs significantly higher than AFT024-control cells transformed with mock plasmid. The Expanded human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) CD34+ cells retained the capacity of multipotent differentiation as long as 8 weeks and successfully repopulated the bone marrow of sublethally irradiated NOD/SCID mice, which demonstrated the expansion of long-term primitive transplantable HSCs/HPCs. Importantly, hkirre could upregulate the expressions of Wnt-5A, BMP4, and SDF-1 and downregulate TGF-β with other hematopoietic growth factors. By SDS-PAGE and Western Blot analysis, a ~89 kDa protein in total lysate of AFT024-hKirre was identified. Supernatants from AFT024-hkirre could also support CD34+CD38 cells expansion. These results demonstrated that the AFT024-hKirre cells have the ability to efficiently expand HSCs/HPCs.