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Bioessays. 2004 Dec;26(12):1276-87.

A panorama of lineage-specific transcription in hematopoiesis.

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Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA.


The hematopoietic system consists of more than ten differentiated cell types, all of which are derived from a single type of hematopoietic stem cell. The accessibility and interest of this system have made it a model for understanding normal and abnormal differentiation of mammalian cells. Newer techniques have generated a mass of data that requires integrative approaches for analysis and interpretation. The traditional view of the differentiation program holds that a small number of regulators are involved in each stage of cell specification. However, this may not be the case. Recent analyses have shown that almost all substantial subsets of genes, including the set of broadly expressed transcription factors, are expressed in patterns that are unique for each lineage. Further, much of this difference between lineages can be captured in two-dimensional graphs. Understanding the biologic significance, mechanisms and constraints underlying these differences is a challenge for experimentalists and computational biologists alike.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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