Reconstructing Gene Regulatory Networks That Control Hematopoietic Commitment.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside at the apex of the hematopoietic hierarchy, possessing the ability to self-renew and differentiate toward all mature blood lineages. Along with more specialized progenitor cells, HSCs have an essential role in maintaining a healthy blood system. Incorrect regulation of cell fate decisions in stem/progenitor cells can lead to an imbalance of mature blood cell populations-a situation seen in diseases such as leukemia. Transcription factors, acting as part of complex regulatory networks, are known to play an important role in regulating hematopoietic cell fate decisions. Yet, discovering the interactions present in these networks remains a big challenge. Here, we discuss a computational method that uses single-cell gene expression data to reconstruct Boolean gene regulatory network models and show how this technique can be applied to enhance our understanding of transcriptional regulation in hematopoiesis.