DNA methylation in hematopoietic cascade

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Science  20 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6322, pp. 258-259
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6322.258-b

DNA methylation is well known for its role in repressing gene expression. However, analyzing patterns of this modification across the genome of pools of cells now reveals features of cell heterogeneity, cell differentiation, and cell lineage relationship. Farlik et al. examined DNA methylation dynamics of 17 hematopoietic cell types. They found that hematopoietic stem cells from different sources (fetal liver, cord blood, bone marrow, and peripheral blood), as well as lineage-specific progenitors, have different methylation characteristics. Using the DNA methylation profiling data, a computational model of human hematopoietic differentiation was derived, so that sorted cell populations could be placed in a developmental context. In addition to elucidating the hematopoietic cascade, this work has potential for understanding diseases of the blood.

Cell Stem Cell 19, 808 (2016).

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