UIC-2016-085 – Lineage Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Erythro-Angioblasts Generates Functional Endothelial Cells and Erythrocytes

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and affects 17,600,000 Americans, causing the U.S. approximately $108 billion in treatment and management of myocardial ischemia Current treatment options include injection of an anticoagulant, thrombolysis, embolectomy, surgical revascularisation, or amputation, none of which help the regeneration of new blood vessels or salvaging the ischemic tissue UIC inventors uncovered an adult human fibroblast that they reprogrammed into endothelial cells and erythroblasts capable of forming neovessels carrying erythrocytes. It involved tuning a population of erythro-angioblasts, CD34+ progenitor cells, from a critical bifurcation point to generate blood vessels carrying erythrocytes in order to salvage ischemic tissue Upregulation of the transcription factor SOX17 resulted in the conversion of CD34+ progenitor cells to endothelial lineage, whereas the suppression of SOX17 directed the cells toward an erythroid fate Veronica Haywood vhaywo2@uic.otm.edu 312-996-4865

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