Establishment of an erythroid progenitor cell line capable of enucleation achieved with an inducible c-Myc vector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Pablo Diego Moço
  • Talha Maqbool
  • Pamuditha N Silva
  • Dawn M Kilkenny
  • Julie Audet


BACKGROUND: A robust scalable method for producing enucleated red blood cells (RBCs) is not only a process to produce packed RBC units for transfusion but a potential platform to produce modified RBCs with applications in advanced cellular therapy. Current strategies for producing RBCs have shortcomings in the limited self-renewal capacity of progenitor cells, or difficulties in effectively enucleating erythroid cell lines. We explored a new method to produce RBCs by inducibly expressing c-Myc in primary erythroid progenitor cells and evaluated the proliferative and maturation potential of these modified cells.

RESULTS: Primary erythroid progenitor cells were genetically modified with an inducible gene transfer vector expressing a single transcription factor, c-Myc, and all the gene elements required to achieve dox-inducible expression. Genetically modified cells had enhanced proliferative potential compared to control cells, resulting in exponential growth for at least 6 weeks. Inducibly proliferating erythroid (IPE) cells were isolated with surface receptors similar to colony forming unit-erythroid (CFU-Es), and after removal of ectopic c-Myc expression cells hemoglobinized, decreased in cell size to that of native RBCs, and enucleated achieving cultures with 17% enucleated cells. Experiments with IPE cells at various levels of ectopic c-Myc expression provided insight into differentiation dynamics of the modified cells, and an optimized two-stage differentiation strategy was shown to promote greater expansion and maturation.

CONCLUSIONS: Genetic engineering of adult erythroid progenitor cells with an inducible c-Myc vector established an erythroid progenitor cell line that could produce RBCs, demonstrating the potential of this approach to produce large quantities of RBCs and modified RBC products.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21
JournalBMC Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019