Erythropoietin (Epo) (from Greek erythro for red and poietin to make) is a small glycoprotein hormone that is essential for the production of red blood cells. Epo promotes the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of erythroid progenitor cells (BFU-E, CFU-E) to mature erythrocytes and initiates hemoglobin synthesis.
The Epo gene contains at least five exons and resides on chromosome 7q21-q22 in humans and chromosome 5 in mice. DNA sequences from monkey and mouse display 90 % and 80 % homology to human Epo, respectively. Epo is produced primarily in the kidney and to a lesser extent in the liver. It is an acidic glycoprotein hormone with a molecular weight of 34–37 kD and circulates in the blood plasma at a very low concentration (about 5 pmol/l). It is composed of a single chain polypeptide and is resistant to denaturation by heat, alkali, or...
KeywordsPolycystic Kidney Disease Polycythemia Vera Erythroid Progenitor Erythroid Progenitor Cell Normocytic Anemia
- Jelkman W (1992) Erythropoietin, structure, control of production and function. Physiol Rev 72:449–489Google Scholar