Steel factor regulates cell cycle asymmetry

Charlie Mantel, Paul Hendrie, Hal E. Broxmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Asymmetric segregation of cell-fate determinants during mitosis (spatial asymmetry) is an essential mechanism by which stem cells are maintained while simultaneously giving rise to differentiated progenitors that ultimately produce all the specialized cells in the hematopoietic system. Temporal cell cycle asymmetry and heterogeneity are attributes of cell proliferation that are also essential for maintaining tissue organization. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are regulated by a complex network of cytokines, some of which have very specific effects, while others have very broad ranging effects on HSCs. Some cytokines, like steel factor (SLF), are known to synergize with other cytokines to produce rapid expansion of progenitor cells. Using the human growth factor-dependent MO7e cell line as a model for synergistic proliferation, we present evidence that links proliferation asymmetry to SLF synergy with GM-CSF, and suggests that temporal asymmetry and cell cycle heterogeneity can be regulated by SLF in vitro. We also show that CDK-inhibitor and cell cycle regulator, p27kip-1, may be involved in this temporal asymmetry regulation. We propose that SLF/GM-CSF synergy is, in part, due to a shift in proliferation pattern from a heterogeneous and asymmetric one to a more synchronous and symmetric pattern, thus contributing dramatically to the rapid expansion that accompanies SLF synergy observed in MO7e cells. This kinetic model of asymmetry is consistent with recent evidence showing that even though SLF synergy results in a strong proliferative signal, it does not increase primary HSC selfrenewal, which is believed to be highly dependent on asymmetric divisions. The factor-dependent MO7e/SCF-synergy/asymmetry model described here may therefore be useful for studies of the effects of various cytokines on cell cycle asymmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cells
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle heterogeneity
  • P27kip-1
  • Stem cell asymmetry
  • Stem cell factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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