The Chai lab ‘s interest in cell fate and stem cells is closely related to Dr. Chai’s clinical practice. As a transfusion medicine attending physician, Dr. Chai’s clinical activities involve collection of cellular and blood products such as peripheral hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPC), neutrophils, red cells, and platelets.
A schematic model of ex vivo CD34+CD90+ expansion from human PBSC HSPCs.
The lab focuses on translating bench research findings in these areas to clinical practice.
We propose the following model: Under culture conditions with stimulating cytokines, CD34+ HSPCs tend to differentiate and become CD34− or CD34+CD90− cells. Addition of epigenetic modifiers, such as the HDACi TSA to the culture media, results in expansion of CD34+CD90+ cells. The TSA-mediated HSPC expansion functions, at least in part, through transcription factor SALL4 (TF SALL4).
This technology of stem cell expansion has been patented and subsequently licensed to other biotechnology companies.
Tatetsu et al. “Maintenance and enhancement of human peripheral blood mobilized stem/progenitor cell engraftment after ex vivo culture via an HDACi/SALL4 axis”, Exp Hematol. 2019.