• DEK;
  • Hematopoietic stem cells;
  • Hematopoietic progenitor cells;
  • Receptors;
  • Chromatin;
  • Dipeptidylpeptidase IV


Understanding the factors that regulate hematopoiesis opens up the possibility of modifying these factors and their actions for clinical benefit. DEK, a non-histone nuclear phosphoprotein initially identified as a putative proto-oncogene, has recently been linked to regulate hematopoiesis. DEK has myelosuppressive activity in vitro on proliferation of human and mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells and enhancing activity on engraftment of long-term marrow repopulating mouse stem cells, has been linked in coordinate regulation with the transcription factor C/EBPα, for differentiation of myeloid cells, and apparently targets a long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cell for leukemic transformation. This review covers the uniqueness of DEK, what is known about how it now functions as a nuclear protein and also as a secreted molecule that can act in paracrine fashion, and how it may be regulated in part by dipeptidylpeptidase 4, an enzyme known to truncate and modify a number of proteins involved in activities on hematopoietic cells. Examples are provided of possible future areas of investigation needed to better understand how DEK may be regulated and function as a regulator of hematopoiesis, information possibly translatable to other normal and diseased immature cell systems. STEM Cells 2013;31:1447–1453