In this issue of the JCI, Capitano et al. demonstrate that the secreted form of the DNA-binding chromatin factor DEK regulates hematopoiesis. It is known that DEK can be secreted by macrophages and other cells, but no function has been attached to secreted DEK. Capitano et al. showed that extracellular DEK activates signaling through the CXCL2 receptor, which in turn enhances the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and decreases hematopoietic progenitor cell numbers both in vivo and in vitro. These results offer the opportunity to expand transplantable stem cells to improve outcomes in patients undergoing bone marrow transplant.
David M. Bodine