A chimaera of stem cell factor (SCF) and a cellulose-binding domain from the xylanase Cex (CBDCex) effectively immobilizes SCF on a cellulose surface. The fusion protein retains both the cytokine properties of SCF and the cellulose-binding characteristics of CBDCex. When adsorbed on cellulose, SCF–CBDCex is up to 7-fold more potent than soluble SCF–CBDCex and than native SCF at stimulating the proliferation of factor-dependent cell lines. When cells are incubated with cellulose-bound SCF–CBDCex, activated receptors and SCF–CBDCex co-localize on the cellulose matrix. The strong binding of SCF–CBDCex to the cellulose surface permits the effective and localized stimulation of target cells; this is potentially significant for long-term perfusion culturing of factor-dependent cells. It also permits the direct analysis of the effects of surface-bound cytokines on target cells.

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