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An emerging concept in the field of cancer biology is that a rare population of 'tumour stem cells' exists among the heterogeneous group of cells that constitute a tumour. This concept, best described with human leukaemia, indicates that stem cell function (whether normal or neoplastic) might be defined by a common set of critical genes. Here we show that(More)
Hoxa9, Meis1 and Pbx1 encode homeodomaincontaining proteins implicated in leukemic transformation in both mice and humans. Hoxa9, Meis1 and Pbx1 proteins have been shown to physically interact with each other, as Hoxa9 cooperatively binds consensus DNA sequences with Meis1 and with Pbx1, while Meis1 and Pbx1 form heterodimers in both the presence and(More)
Epigenetic modification of chromatin structure underlies the differentiation of pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) into their committed/differentiated progeny. Compelling evidence indicates that Polycomb group (PcG) genes play a key role in normal and leukemic hemopoiesis through epigenetic regulation of HSC self-renewal/proliferation and commitment.(More)
Hox genes were first recognized for their role in embryonic development and may also play important lineage-specific functions in a variety of somatic tissues including the hematopoietic system. We have recently shown that certain members of the Hox A and B clusters, such as HOXB3 and HOXB4, are preferentially expressed in subpopulations of human bone(More)
The capacity for sustained self-renewal--the generation of daughter cells having the same regenerative properties as the parent cell--is the defining feature of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Strong evidence exists that self-renewal of HSC is under extrinsic biological control in vivo. A variety of cytokines, morphogenic ligands and associated signaling(More)
Several homeobox genes of the HOXA and HOXB clusters are expressed in primitive blood cells, suggesting a role for HOX genes in normal hematopoiesis. The HOXA9 gene is expressed in CD34+ marrow cells and in developing lymphocytes. We examined blood-forming organs of mice homozygous for an interrupted HOXA9 allele to determine if loss of HOX gene function is(More)
A sizable amount of new data points to a role for the HOX family of homeobox genes in hematopoiesis. Recent studies have demonstrated that HOXA and HOXB genes are expressed in human CD34+ cells, and are downregulated as cells leave the CD34+ compartment. In addition, expression of certain genes, including HOXB3 and HOXB4, is largely restricted to the(More)
Mammalian Polycomb group (Pc-G) genes, constituting some 5 subfamilies based on their identity to the Drosophila genes Pc, Psc, ph, esc, and E(z), appear to play critical roles in maintaining the transcriptional repression state of Hox/HOM-C genes during development. Despite increasing evidence of the important role of Hox genes in both normal hematopoiesis(More)
Only a few critical oncogenes have been identified in the more commonly occurring cases of sporadic breast cancer. We provide evidence that EN2 is ectopically expressed in a subset of human breast cancer and may have a causal role in mammary tumorigenesis. Nontumorigenic mammary cell lines engineered to ectopically express En-2 have a marked reduction in(More)
BMI1 is a key component of multiprotein Polycomb repression complex 1 (PRC1), and its disruption in mice induces severe aplastic anemia by early adulthood. The contributing mechanisms responsible for this phenotype remain elusive. Here we show that transformed human cell lines as well as primitive hematopoietic cells exhibit a high frequency of spontaneous(More)