CD34 Serves as an Important Marker in Disease Research

Thu, 09/26/2013 - 13:11

CD34 is a cell surface glycoprotein that aids cells in cell-cell adhesion. It is expressed on endothelial cells where it is known to bind L-selectin and may aid in migration of T-cells. Moreover, it is expressed on hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), muscle satellite cells, and endothelial cells and may serve as a cell surface marker for characterizing these cell populations.  Although these cells, including HSCs, are rare, CD34 antibodies facilitate their study by allowing researchers to identify, count, and purify these cells using flow cytometry or FACS.

HSCs that express CD34 are commonly isolated from the bone marrow and blood of adult donors.  Recent studies have examined more efficient means of extracting cells expressing CD34.  In these studies, researchers demonstrated that umbilical cord blood contains higher percentages of HSCs.   The presence of higher counts of HSCs in cord blood has made the study of stem cells more accessible to a wider group of researchers, facilitating more intense research efforts into their role in a variety of physiological processes and diseases (1).

Based upon their presence on multipotent cells, additional research has focused on examining CD34 positive cells in a variety of cancers.  For instance, CD34 immunoreactivity has been studied as a marker of tumor virulence.  In this study, CD34 expression correlated well to an increased tendency of epithelial tumor cells to become invasive (2).  Although CD34 may not be a causal factor in enhanced invasiveness of cancers (3), it may serve as a marker of tumor cells that are prone to migrate and establish secondary tumors.  Further study of the relationship between CD34 and cancer progression may uncover important mechanisms linked to metastasis that could be important in improving patient outcomes.

  1. PMID: 23822622
  2. PMID: 18766141
  3. PMID:  21494591

Novus Biologicals offers various CD34 reagents for your research needs including:

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