Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Jiuwei CuiEmail author
  • Yaacov Ben-David
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2002-2



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...


Polycystic Kidney Disease Polycythemia Vera Erythroid Progenitor Erythroid Progenitor Cell Normocytic Anemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Division of Molecular and Cellular BiologySunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada