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Nature. 2003 May 15;423(6937):302-5. Epub 2003 Apr 20.

Bmi-1 is required for maintenance of adult self-renewing haematopoietic stem cells.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

Abstract

A central issue in stem cell biology is to understand the mechanisms that regulate the self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are required for haematopoiesis to persist for the lifetime of the animal. We found that adult and fetal mouse and adult human HSCs express the proto-oncogene Bmi-1. The number of HSCs in the fetal liver of Bmi-1-/- mice was normal. In postnatal Bmi-1-/- mice, the number of HSCs was markedly reduced. Transplanted fetal liver and bone marrow cells obtained from Bmi-1-/- mice were able to contribute only transiently to haematopoiesis. There was no detectable self-renewal of adult HSCs, indicating a cell autonomous defect in Bmi-1-/- mice. A gene expression analysis revealed that the expression of stem cell associated genes, cell survival genes, transcription factors, and genes modulating proliferation including p16Ink4a and p19Arf was altered in bone marrow cells of the Bmi-1-/- mice. Expression of p16Ink4a and p19Arf in normal HSCs resulted in proliferative arrest and p53-dependent cell death, respectively. Our results indicate that Bmi-1 is essential for the generation of self-renewing adult HSCs.

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PMID:
12714971
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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