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Int J Hematol. 1999 Apr;69(3):137-46.

Cytokine signaling for proliferation, survival, and death in hematopoietic cells.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The survival, proliferation, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells are regulated by cytokines. In the absence of cytokines, hematopoietic cells not only stop proliferation, but undergo apoptosis. This strict dependency of hematopoietic cells on cytokines is an important mechanism that maintains the homeostasis of blood cells. Cytokines induce various intracellular signaling pathways by activating the receptor-associated Janus kinases (Jaks), and distinct signals are responsible for cell cycle progression and cell survival. Induction of signals for cell cycle progression without suppressing apoptosis results in apoptotic cell death, indicating the essential role of anti-apoptotic signaling for cell growth. In hematopoietic cells, Ras, a cellular protooncogen product, and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase are involved in the suppression of apoptosis. Cytokine depletion not only turns off anti-apoptotic signaling, but also actively induces cell death by activating caspases, a distinct family of cysteine proteases. Alterations in the mechanisms of cytokine signaling for cell cycle progression and anti-apoptotic function are implicated in hematological disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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