Hematopoietic and chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells: multi-stability versus lineage restriction

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There is compelling evidence to support the view that the cell-of-origin for chronic myeloid leukemia is a hematopoietic stem cell. Unlike normal hematopoietic stem cells, the progeny of the leukemia stem cells are predominantly neutrophils during the disease chronic phase and there is a mild anemia. The hallmark oncogene for chronic myeloid leukemia is the BCR-ABLp210 fusion gene. Various studies have excluded a role for BCR-ABLp210 expression in maintaining the population of leukemia stem cells. Studies of BCR-ABLp210 expression in embryonal stem cells that were differentiated into hematopoietic stem cells and of the expression in transgenic mice have revealed that BCR-ABLp210 is able to veer hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells towards a myeloid fate. For the transgenic mice, global changes to the epigenetic landscape were observed. In chronic myeloid leukemia, the ability of the leukemia stem cells to choose from the many fates that are available to normal hematopoietic stem cells appears to be deregulated by BCR-ABLp210 and changes to the epigenome are also important. Even so, we still do not have a precise picture as to why neutrophils are abundantly produced in chronic myeloid leukemia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13570
JournalMolecular Biology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2022


  • chronic myeloid leukemia
  • leukemia stem cells
  • hematopoietic stem cells
  • oncogenes
  • epigenetics


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