Direct chemical reprogramming of human cord blood erythroblasts to induced megakaryocytes that produce platelets

Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Aug 4;29(8):1229-1245.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.07.004.


Reprogramming somatic cells into megakaryocytes (MKs) would provide a promising source of platelets. However, using a pharmacological approach to generate human MKs from somatic cells remains an unmet challenge. Here, we report that a combination of four small molecules (4M) successfully converted human cord blood erythroblasts (EBs) into induced MKs (iMKs). The iMKs could produce proplatelets and release functional platelets, functionally resembling natural MKs. Reprogramming trajectory analysis revealed an efficient cell fate conversion of EBs into iMKs by 4M via the intermediate state of bipotent precursors. 4M induced chromatin remodeling and drove the transition of transcription factor (TF) regulatory network from key erythroid TFs to essential TFs for megakaryopoiesis, including FLI1 and MEIS1. These results demonstrate that the chemical reprogramming of cord blood EBs into iMKs provides a simple and efficient approach to generate MKs and platelets for clinical applications.

Keywords: Chemical reprogramming; epigenetic remodeling; erythroblast; megakaryocyte; platelet; precursor for erythrocytes and megakaryocytes; small molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Erythroblasts
  • Fetal Blood
  • Humans
  • Megakaryocytes*