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mTOR and Cord Blood Erythropoiesis

In a new STEM CELLS article, researchers led by Xin Zhang (First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, China) evaluated the roles of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibition on human umbilical cord blood‐derived CD34-positive cell erythropoiesis in vitro. Liu et al. now report a crucial role for mTOR in cell‐cycle progression and proliferation in the commitment/proliferation phase of erythropoiesis. Significantly, mTOR inhibition via rapamycin treatment improved erythroid cell maturation by promoting enucleation and mitochondrial clearance through enhanced autophagy. Overall, these findings may help to optimize erythroid differentiation but also provide evidence for the potential clinical application of rapamycin in the improvement of erythropoiesis.