Haematopoiesis, the process by which phenotypically distinct mature cells are generated from multipotent blood stem cells, is one of the best understood models of adult stem cell development and differentiation.
In their recently published review in Stem Cell Research & Therapy, Bertie Göttgen’s group from the University of Cambridge discuss the transcriptional regulation of haematopoetic transcription factors. Transcription factors directly regulate gene expression and play key roles in stem cell maintenance, lineage commitment and differentiation; they are powerful regulators of normal development and their misexpression has previously been found to cause leukaemia. The authors review recent studies that have identified specific regulatory codes within multiple modular regulatory regions in the genome, and how tissue-specific expression is mediated by cooperation between different modular elements. They emphasise the future importance of genome-wide approaches to identify regulatory elements to ensure that those outside traditional gene loci are not overlooked.
The review is the first in a series on epigenetics and regulation, the next article looks at the epigenetic regulation of satellite cell activation during muscle regeneration and will be published soon. Stem Cell Research & Therapy is also considering research submissions in this area for future inclusion in the collection, all research articles published in the journal are open access, for more information please see the journal’s instructions for authors.
Philippa Locke – Senior Assistant Editor