Bmi1 induces telomerase activity and immortalizes human mammary epithelial cells. Bmi1 extends the replicative life span of human fibroblasts by suppressing the p16-dependent senescence pathway. It has also been termed an oncogene with aberrant expression in various carcinomas. It has been shown to be a negative regulator of p19Arf, Ink4a (p14Arf) and tp53 known tumor repressors. Ablation of Bmi1 is required for short term survival of cancer cells.
In addition, Bmi1 expression promotes HSC self-renewal. These findings highlight the importance of epigenetic regulation in HSC self-renewal and identify PcG genes as potential targets for therapeutic HSC manipulation.
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- Ryan F. Bloomquist, Teresa E. Fowler, Zhengwen An, Tian Y. Yu, Kawther Abdilleh, Gareth J. Fraser, Paul T. Sharpe, and J. Todd Streelman. (2019). Developmental Plasticity of Epithelial Stem Cells in Tooth and Taste Bud Removal. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1821202116
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