Concise Review: Erythroid Versus Myeloid Lineage Commitment: Regulating the Master Regulators§

Authors

  • Linda Wolff,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
    • 37 Convent Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA
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    • Telephone: 301-496-6763; Fax 301-594-3996

  • Rita Humeniuk

    1. Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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  • Author contributions: R.H. and L.W.: wrote the manuscript and prepared the figures.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    first published online in STEM CELLS EXPRESS April 5, 2013.

Abstract

Developmental processes, like blood formation, are orchestrated by transcriptional networks. Those transcriptional networks are highly responsive to various environmental stimuli and affect common precursors resulting in increased production of cells of the erythroid lineage or myeloid lineage (granulocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages). A significant body of knowledge has accumulated describing transcription factors that drive differentiation of these two major cellular pathways, in particular the antagonistic master regulators such as GATA-1 and PU.1. However, little is known about factors that work upstream of master regulators to enhance differentiation toward one lineage. These functions become especially important under various stress conditions like sudden loss of red blood cells or pathogen infection. This review describes recent studies that begin to provide evidence for such factors. An increased understanding of factors regulating cellular commitment will advance our understanding of the etiology of diseases like anemia, cancer, and possibly other blood related disorders. STEM Cells2013;31:1237–1244

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