The Ikaros Gene Family in Hemopoietic Differentiation
The molecular events that enable the progeny of a hemopoietic stem cell (HSC) to become committed to the erythroid, myeloid, or lymphoid lineages are still to be defined. Differentiated hemopoietic lineages originate from common multipotent progenitor cells that undergo a series of divisions and commitment steps, giving rise to precursor cells with increasingly restricted differentiation potentials. The functional and phenotypic changes that occur as a cell differentiates are determined by changes in gene expression. These changes are directed by cell signaling events, which induce a cascade of regulatory factors that ultimately affect the transcriptional program of the cell. Therefore, an important key to understanding hemopoiesis is identifying the transcription factors that regulate the transition through stages of differentiation. The Ikaros family of transcription factors has been shown to play an integral role in the determination and differentiation of the lymphoid lineage. This chapter will discuss the founder of this family of transcription factors, Ikaros, as well as its more lymphoid-restricted homolog, Aiolos, and what is known to date about the roles of these proteins in hemopoiesis and lymphocyte differentiation.
KeywordsHemopoietic Stem Cell Dominant Negative Lymphoid Lineage Thymocyte Development Fetal Thymus
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