Min IM, Pietramaggiori G, Kim FS, Passegué E, Stevenson KE, Wagers AJ. 2008. The transcription factor EGR1 controls both the proliferation and localization of hematopoietic stem cells. Cell stem cell. 2(4):380-91. Pubmed: 18397757 DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2008.01.015


EGR1 is a member of the immediate early response transcription factor family and functions in cell growth, development, and stress responses in many tissues. Here we report an additional role for EGR1 in regulating homeostasis of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs normally express Egr1 at high levels, but dramatically downregulate its expression when induced to divide and migrate. Consistent with this finding, mice lacking Egr1 exhibit significant increases in steady-state levels of dividing HSCs in the bone marrow (BM), and a striking spontaneous mobilization of HSCs into the peripheral blood. These data identify EGR1 as a transcriptional regulator of stem cell migration that normally functions to promote HSC quiescence and retention in the niche. The ability of this single factor to regulate both proliferation and mobilization of HSCs suggests that EGR1 commands a genetic program that coordinates stem cell division and migration to maintain appropriate HSC number and function.

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Amy Wagers seeks to change the way we repair our tissues after an injury. Her research focuses on defining the factors and mechanisms that regulate the migration, expansion, and regenerative potential of adult blood-forming and muscle-forming stem cells.

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