Self-renewal of hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells: a central role for the Polycomb-group gene Bmi-1

Trends Immunol. 2003 Oct;24(10):522-4. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4906(03)00241-2.


Self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells is vital for the sustained daily production of blood cells. Two recent studies have shown that the Polycomb-group gene Bmi-1 is indispensable for regulation of self-renewal by normal and leukemic stem cells. This identifies Polycomb-group genes as potential targets for therapeutic intervention in leukemia, and possibly other forms of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Repressor Proteins*


  • BMI1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1