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Genetic programs regulating HSC specification, maintenance and expansion.

Lessard J, Faubert A, Sauvageau G

Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University, CA, USA.

All mature blood cells originate from a small population of self-renewing pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The capacity to self-renew characterizes all stem cells, whether normal or neoplastic. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that self-renewal is essential for tumor cell maintenance, implicating that this process has therapeutic relevance. Unfortunately, the molecular bases for self-renewal of vertebrate cells remain poorly defined. This article will focus on the developmental mechanisms underlying fetal and adult HSC homeostasis. Specifically, distinctions between genetic programs regulating HSC specification (identity), self-renewal (in both fetal and adult) and differentiation/commitment will be discussed with a special emphasis on transcriptional and chromatin regulators.

Oncogene 2004;23(43):7199-209.

Pubmed ID: 15378080

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