The kit receptor and its ligand, steel factor, as regulators of hemopoiesis

H. E. Broxmeyer, R. Maze, K. Miyazawa, C. Carow, P. C. Hendrie, S. Cooper, G. Hangoc, S. Vadhan-Raj, L. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

107 Scopus citations


Mouse strains carrying mutations at the Dominant White Spotting (W) locus or the Steel (SL) locus are anemic and display defects in pigmentation and gametogenesis. In W mutants the anemia is due to a deficiency of hemopoietic stem cells and, in SL mutants, to a deficiency of supporting stromal cells in the bone marrow. The W locus encodes the c-kit proto-oncogene product, a cell surface receptor with protein-tyrosine kinase activity, and the SL locus encodes its ligand, a hemopoietic cytokine known variously as Steel factor (SLF), mast cell growth factor, stem cell factor, and Kit ligand. SLF can synergize with a number of other cytokines to stimulate growth of hemopoietic progenitors in vitro and stimulates blood cells production in vivo in animals. Here we review the biological activities of SLF, with particular emphasis on its effects on hemopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We also discuss present knowledge of the molecules involved in SLF-triggered signal transduction, and speculate on potential therapeutic applications for SLF in human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-487
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Cells
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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    Broxmeyer, H. E., Maze, R., Miyazawa, K., Carow, C., Hendrie, P. C., Cooper, S., Hangoc, G., Vadhan-Raj, S., & Lu, L. (1991). The kit receptor and its ligand, steel factor, as regulators of hemopoiesis. Cancer Cells, 3(12), 480-487.