Blood cell formation depends on gene previously linked to leukemia
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have pinpointed a crucial gene on which the normal development of the bodys entire blood system depends. If the gene is absent, even the most basic blood stem cells cannot be generated. In a mutated form, this gene can cause a rare and devastating form of leukemia.
Called MLL, the gene makes a protein that regulates the activity of a number of other genes involved in proper development of tissues and organs during embryonic life. The experimental results being published in the March 16 issue of Developmental Cell demonstrate that MLL is necessary for the development of the "master" stem cells that generate all the mature blood cells.
Janet Haley Dubow | EurekAlert!
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