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Ex Vivo Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells by Garcinol, a Potent Inhibitor of Histone Acetyltransferase
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011
Author: Taito Nishino et al.

by Taito Nishino, Changshan Wang, Makiko Mochizuki-Kashio, Mitsujiro Osawa, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, Atsushi Iwama


Human cord blood (hCB) is the main source of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs/PCs) for transplantation. Efforts to overcome relative shortages of HSCs/PCs have led to technologies to expand HSCs/PCs ex vivo. However, methods suitable for clinical practice have yet to be fully established.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In this study, we screened biologically active natural products for activity to promote expansion of hCB HSCs/PCs ex vivo, and identified Garcinol, a plant-derived histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor, as a novel stimulator of hCB HSC/PC expansion. During a 7-day culture of CD34+CD38 HSCs supplemented with stem cell factor and thrombopoietin, Garcinol increased numbers of CD34+CD38 HSCs/PCs more than 4.5-fold and Isogarcinol, a derivative of Garcinol, 7.4-fold. Furthermore, during a 7-day culture of CD34+ HSCs/PCs, Garcinol expanded the number of SCID-repopulating cells (SRCs) 2.5-fold. We also demonstrated that the capacity of Garcinol and its derivatives to expand HSCs/PCs was closely correlated with their inhibitory effect on HAT. The Garcinol derivatives which expanded HSCs/PCs inhibited the HAT activity and acetylation of histones, while inactive derivatives did not.


Our findings identify Garcinol as the first natural product acting on HSCs/PCs and suggest the inhibition of HAT to be an alternative approach for manipulating HSCs/PCs.