The SCL/TAL1 gene: roles in normal and malignant haematopoiesis

Bioessays. 1997 Jul;19(7):607-13. doi: 10.1002/bies.950190711.


SCL (TAL1/TCL5) is a member of the helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors. Originally identified because of its involvement in a tumour-specific chromosomal translocation, overexpression of the SCL gene is the most common molecular abnormality found in human T cell leukaemia. Transgenic models have now formally demonstrated that overexpression of SCL within the T cell lineage is capable of causing malignant transformation. Gene targeting experiments have revealed that the SCL gene is crucial for the development of primitive haematopoiesis in the mouse and is also required for the generation of all adult haematopoietic lineages. Biochemical studies have indicated some of the proteins which interact with SCL and this has refined the hypotheses concerning the mechanisms by which SCL plays a role in leukaemogenesis and haematopoietic development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Hematopoiesis / genetics
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • Leukemia, T-Cell / genetics
  • Metalloproteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Multigene Family
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Oncogenes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Protein 1
  • Transcription Factors / classification
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • LMO2 protein, human
  • Lmo2 protein, mouse
  • Metalloproteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Protein 1
  • Tal1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • TAL1 protein, human