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Int J Cell Cloning. 1992 Sep;10(5):269-76.

SCL and related hemopoietic helix-loop-helix transcription factors.

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  • 1Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


The helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins are a family of transcription factors that include proteins critical to differentiation and development in species ranging from plants to mammals. Five members of this family (MYC, SCL, TAL-2, LYL-1 and E2A) are implicated in oncogenic events in human lymphoid tumors because of their consistent involvement in chromosomal translocations. Although activated in T cell leukemias, expression of SCL and LYL-1 is low or undetectable in normal T cell populations. SCL is expressed in erythroid, megakaryocyte and mast cell populations (the same cell lineages as GATA-1, a zinc-finger transcription factor). In addition, both SCL and GATA-1 undergo coordinate modulation during chemically induced erythroid differentiation of mouse erythroleukemia cells and are down-modulated during myeloid differentiation of human K562 cells, thus implying a role for SCL in erythroid differentiation events. However, in contrast to GATA-1, SCL is expressed in the developing brain. Studies of the function of SCL suggest it is also important in proliferation and self-renewal events in erythroid cells.

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