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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2010 Apr 15;44(4):275-86. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2010.01.006. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Runx family genes, niche, and stem cell quiescence.

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Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


In multicellular organisms, terminally differentiated cells of most tissues are short-lived and therefore require constant replenishment from rapidly dividing stem cells for homeostasis and tissue repair. For the stem cells to last throughout the lifetime of the organism, however, a small subset of stem cells, which are maintained in a hibernation-like state known as stem cell quiescence, is required. Such dormant stem cells reside in the niche and are activated into proliferation only when necessary. A multitude of factors are required for the maintenance of stem cell quiescence and niche. In particular, the Runx family genes have been implicated in stem cell quiescence in various organisms and tissues. In this review, we discuss the maintenance of stem cell quiescence in various tissues, mainly in the context of the Runx family genes, and with special focus on the hematopoietic system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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