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Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Jan 10;2(1):83-9. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2007.10.007.

The p47 GTPase Lrg-47 (Irgm1) links host defense and hematopoietic stem cell proliferation.

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Immunobiology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are self-renewing bone marrow cells that give rise to all blood lineages and retain a remarkable capacity to proliferate in response to insult. Although some controls on HSC activation are known, little is understood about how this process is linked to natural signals. We report that the interferon-inducible GTPase Lrg-47 (Irgm1), previously shown to play a critical role in host defense, inhibits baseline HSC proliferation and is required for a normal HSC response to chemical and infectious stimuli. Overproliferating Lrg-47(-/-) HSCs are severely impaired in functional repopulation assays, and when challenged with hematopoietic ablation by 5-fluorouracil or infection with Mycobacterium avium, Lrg-47(-/-) mice fail to achieve the expected expansion response in stem and progenitor cell populations. Our results establish a link between the response to infection and HSC activation and demonstrate a novel function for a member of the p47 GTPase family.

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