The role of mel-18, a mammalian Polycomb group gene, during IL-7-dependent proliferation of lymphocyte precursors

Immunity. 1997 Jul;7(1):135-46. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80516-6.


mel-18 is a mammalian homolog of Drosophila melanogaster Polycomb group genes. Mice lacking the mel-18 gene show a posterior transformation of the axial skeleton, severe combined immunodeficiency, and a food-passing disturbance in the lower intestine due to hypertrophy of the smooth muscle layer. In this study, the severe combined immunodeficiency observed in mel-18 mutant mice is correlated with the impaired mitotic response of lymphocyte precursors upon interleukin-7 stimulation. Strikingly, the axial skeleton and lymphoid phenotypes are identical in both mel-18 and bmi-1 mutants, indicating that the Mel-18 and Bmi-1 gene products might act in the same genetic cascade. These results suggest that mammalian Polycomb group gene products are involved in cell cycle progression in the immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genotype
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Interleukin-7 / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-7
  • Pcgf6 protein, mouse
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1