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The formation of red blood cells is a highly regulated, multistep process that takes place in our bone marrow. In a recent issue of the leading hematology journal Blood, NYBC scientists Dr. Xiuli An, Head of the Laboratory of Membrane Biology, and Dr. Mohan Narla, VP for Research and Head of Laboratory of Red Cell Physiology, in collaboration with Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, and investigators from Yale and Zhengzhou Universities have identified the TET family of genetic regulators in the control of human red blood cell development. Using molecular manipulation techniques in cultured systems, NYBC co-authors Hongxia Yan, Yaomei Wang, and Xiaoli Qu elegantly showed that TET2 family member plays an important role in early steps of red blood cell developmental pathway while TET3 affects the later stages in red cell formation. As mutation of TET family members, specifically TET2, is associated with many hematologic diseases, these new findings may help to develop therapeutic strategy for patients.

Images from Yan et al study showing abnormal nuclei in late stage TET3 deficient erythroblasts (red cell precursors).