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The role of transcription factor SALL4 in embryonic stem cells and normal CD34+ cell: SALL4 is a zinc finger transcription factor and was first reported to be important in human development with mutations in SALL4 being linked to familial Duane-Radial Ray Syndrome (DDRS). The Chai lab, along with our colleagues, has shown that SALL4 is a key factor in the core transcription network essential for the maintenance of the stemness of human and murine ES cells. In addition, SALL4 is important for germ cell and CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell differentiation. 

Normal Hematopoiesis

Gao et al. “The role of stem cell factor SALL4 in leukemogenesis”, Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis, 2011.

The SALL4/Wnt/Bmi-1/PTEN network in normal and leukemic hematopoiesis. SALL4 contributes to hematopoietic differentiation at least, in part, through repression of PTEN, activation of Bmi-1 and interacts with Wnt /β-catenin. During normal hematopoiesis, SALL4 is preferentially expressed in HSCs, down-regulated as HSCs differentiate into HPCs and is absent in mature myeloid populations such as neutrophils. Down-regulation of SALL4 leads to differentiation. Dys-regulation of SALL4 network can lead to leukemic development.

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