Role of the polycomb group proteins in hematopoietic stem cells
Article first published online: 21 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Special Issue: Epigenetics
Volume 52, Issue 6, pages 505–516, August 2010
How to Cite
Konuma, T., Oguro, H. and Iwama, A. (2010), Role of the polycomb group proteins in hematopoietic stem cells. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 52: 505–516. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2010.01191.x
- Issue published online: 21 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 21 JUL 2010
- Received 3 March 2010; revised 21 April 2010; accepted 22 April 2010.
- bivalent domain;
- hematopoietic stem cell;
- oxidative stress;
- polycomb group protein
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins play a role in the transcriptional repression of genes through histone modifications. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that PcG proteins are required for the maintenance of embryonic as well as a broad range of adult stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). PcG proteins maintain the self-renewal capacity of HSCs by repressing tumor suppressor genes and keep differentiation programs poised for activation in HSCs by repressing a cohort of hematopoietic developmental regulator genes via bivalent chromatin domains. Enforced expression of one of the PcG genes, Bmi1, augments the self-renewal capacity of HSCs. PcG proteins also maintain redox homeostasis to prevent premature loss of HSCs. These findings established PcG proteins as essential regulators of HSCs and underscored epigenetics as a new field of HSC research. In this review, we focus on the role of PcG proteins in the epigenetic regulation of the self-renewal capacity and multipotency of HSCs.