Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

Polycomb gene product Bmi-1 regulates stem cell self-renewal.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Stem Cell Therapy, Center for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The Polycomb group (PcG) gene Bmi-1 has recently been implicated in the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). However, the role of each component of PcG complex in HSCs and the impact of forced expression of PcG genes on stem cell self-renewal remain to be elucidated. To address these issues, we performed both loss-of-function and gain-of-function analysis on various PcG proteins. Expression analysis revealed that not only Bmi-1 but also other PcG genes are predominantly expressed in HSCs. Loss-of-function analyses, however, demonstrated that absence of Bmi-1 is preferentially linked with a profound defect in HSC self-renewal, indicating a central role for Bmi-1, but not the other components, in the maintenance of HSC self-renewal. Over-expression analysis of PcG genes also confirmed an important role of Bmi-1 in HSC self-renewal. Our findings indicate that the expression level of Bmi-1 is the critical determinant for the self-renewal capacity of HSCs. These findings uncover novel aspects of stem cell regulation exerted through epigenetic modifications by the PcG proteins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk