Self-renewal is an important property of stem and progenitor cells but little is known about its regulation. This study shows that the RNA-binding protein ZFP36L2 is required for the self-renewal of red blood cell progenitors in mice. The authors demonstrated that ZFP36L2 is transcriptionally upregulated by glucocorticoids, which stimulate red blood cell formation. ZFP36L2 delays the differentiation of red blood cell progenitors through the post-transcriptional downregulation of several mRNAs, thus promoting the self-renewal of this cell type.
Zhang, L. et al. ZFP36L2 is required for self-renewal of early burst-forming unit erythroid progenitors. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12215 (2013)