Ex Vivo Expansion of Phenotypic and Transcriptomic Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells

Academic Article


  • Despite decades of research, standard therapies remain ineffective for most leukemias, pushing toward an essential unmet need for targeted drug screens. Moreover, preclinical drug testing is an important consideration for success of clinical trials without affecting non-transformed stem cells. Using the transgenic chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) mouse model, we determine that leukemic stem cells (LSCs) are transcriptionally heterogenous with a preexistent drug-insensitive signature. To test targeting of potentially important pathways, we establish ex vivo expanded LSCs that have long-term engraftment and give rise to multilineage hematopoiesis. Expanded LSCs share transcriptomic signatures with primary LSCs including enrichment in Wnt, JAK-STAT, MAPK, mTOR and transforming growth factor β signaling pathways. Drug testing on expanded LSCs show that transforming growth factor β and Wnt inhibitors had significant effects on the viability of LSCs, but not leukemia-exposed healthy HSCs. This platform allows testing of multiple drugs at the same time to identify vulnerabilities of LSCs.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Patel SB; Kuznetsova V; Matkins VR; Franceski AM; Bassal MA; Welner RS
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 13
  • Volume

  • 115