Stem cell factor (SCF), also known as KIT-ligand, steel factor, or KL, is a kind of cytokine that binds to the receptor c-Kit/CD117. They are made up of glycosylated protein with a minimum molecular weight of 2-35kD. They are produced in the bone marrow stromal cells and fibroblasts cells. They play an important role in the survival, maintenance, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells (immature blood cells that develop into different cell types). These cytokines play an important role in hematopoiesis and play an important role in melanogenesis and spermatogenesis.
Types of SCF
They can exist both as soluble proteins and transmembrane proteins. The presence of both transmembrane proteins and soluble proteins is required for the proper formation of cells. These two different types of Stem cell factor proteins differ in their site of cleavage. The transmembrane SCF protein is formed when an alternate slicing does not include exon 6 of chromosome 12q22-12q24 in humans. In contrast, the soluble protein has a proteolytic cleavage in exon 6, which helps in the release of the extracellular portion of the protein. Both these types of SCF proteins are biologically active and play an important role in forming blood cells, aiding in germ cell formation and pigmentation.
Functions of SCF
It was noted in several experiments that the absence of transmembrane SCF in hosts can make them prone to anemia and can also become sterile and lack pigmentations, thus proving that both transmembrane and soluble SCF has different roles are equally important for proper functioning. The total absence of the SCF proteins or the c-Kit receptor can result in the death of the host during the perinatal period due to severe anemia. Thus, SCF and the c-kit receptor play an important role in germ cell formation, melanocytes formation, and hematopoiesis. It is also seen that the SCF protein help in the growth and development of mast cells, their stimulation, adhesion, and degranulation.
SCF in vitro
Several biotechnology companies work in the production and development of SCF and provide them for research and other pharmaceutical purposes. It is important to check the certification of these companies before buying a protein or other biological products from them. For SCF cytokine check here, there are companies specializing in manufacturing and supplying the recombinant proteins produced through E. coli. A wide variety of cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines are available for research studies and other purposes. They provide high-quality products at a lower price and are also certified.
Uses of SCF in vitro
The SCF, along with other cytokines, can be used in vitro to develop Hematopoietic stem cells and their progenitors, which can in turn aid in bone marrow transplantations, thus helping the patients in blood formation. It is also seen that the injection of cardiomyocyte-specific transmembrane SCF helps in the migration of stem cells and improves the heart’s functioning.
With the advancements in technology and biotechnology, it has been easier to develop and produce many different kinds of cytokines and proteins, making it easier to treat most of the disorders related to the lack or limited production of important components that are required for the development of the system.