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Int J Hematol. 2005 May;81(4):294-300.

Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal by polycomb group genes.

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Laboratory of Stem Cell Therapy, Center for Experimental Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Polycomb group (PcG) genes are involved in the maintenance of cellular memory through epigenetic chromatin modifications. Recent studies have implicated a role for PcG genes in the self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), a process in which cellular memory is maintained through cell division. Among the PcG genes, Bmi-1 plays a central role in the inheritance of stemness, and its forced expression promotes HSC self-renewal. These findings highlight the importance of epigenetic regulation in HSC self-renewal and identify PcG genes as potential targets for therapeutic HSC manipulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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