Caltech biologists scour mouse genome for genes and markers that lead to T cells
Thursday, 12 April 2012
The researchers studied multipotent hematopoietic precursor cells — stem-cell-like cells that express a wide variety of genes and have the capability to differentiate into a number of different blood-cell types, including those of the immune system. Taking into consideration the entire mouse genome, the researchers pinpointed all the genes that play a role in transforming such precursor cells into committed T cells and identified when in the developmental process they each turn on. At the same time, the researchers tracked genes that could guide the precursor cells to various alternative pathways. The results showed not only when but also how the T-cell-development process turned off the genes promoting alternative fates.
Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
Written by: Kimm Fesenmaier
Jingli A. Zhang, Ali Mortazavi, Brian A. Williams, Barbara J. Wold, Ellen V. Rothenberg
Cell, Volume 149, Issue 2, 467-482, 13 April 2012, 10.1016/j.cell.2012.01.056