(WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014) Research published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, presents an unprecedented look at five unique blood cells in the human body, pinpointing the location of key genetic regulators in these cells and providing a new tool that may help scientists to identify how blood cells form and shed light on the etiology of blood diseases.
Work published today in Blood* is a subset of a much larger catalog of genetic information about nearly 1,000 human cells and tissues unveiled today from the international research consortium "Functional Annotation of the Mamaliam Genome" (FANTOM, with this latest installment referred to as FANTOM5). Two flagship manuscripts describing pivotal observations from the expansive genome mapping project were also published online today in Nature;** companion work is also being published today in BMC Genomics.***
Blood comprises three main types of cells, erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), and thrombocytes (platelets), all of which arise from blood stem cells. While the origin of these cells is known, the gene expression changes that take place in the stem cell to dictate whether it becomes red cell, white cell, or platelet or even develops a genetic mutation are not yet fully understood.
To provide insight into this process, investigators analyzed more than 30 different specialized subtypes of white blood cells (including mast cells, T cells, monocytes, granulocytes, and B cells) and pinpointed the locations of key regions known as enhancers and promoters that determine if a particular gene will be active or silent in a cell. By identifying and mapping the locations of these regulators, investigators were able to correlate them with activity in specific genes. <
|Contact: Amanda Szabo|
American Society of Hematology