Methods for genetic modification of megakaryocytes and platelets.

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Colleges, School and Institutes


During recent decades there have been major advances in the fields of thrombosis and haemostasis, in part through development of powerful molecular and genetic technologies. Nevertheless, genetic modification of megakaryocytes and generation of mutant platelets in vitro remains a highly specialized area of research. Developments are hampered by the low frequency of megakaryocytes and their progenitors, a poor efficiency of transfection and a lack of understanding with regard to the mechanism by which megakaryocytes release platelets. Current methods used in the generation of genetically modified megakaryocytes and platelets include mutant mouse models, cell line studies and use of viruses to transform primary megakaryocytes or haematopoietic precursor cells. This review summarizes the advantages, limitations and technical challenges of such methods, with a particular focus on recent successes and advances in this rapidly progressing field including the potential for use in gene therapy for treatment of patients with platelet disorders.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • genetic modification, platelets, megakaryocytes