Characterization of a megakaryocyte-specific enhancer of the key hemopoietic transcription factor GATA1

Boris Guyot, Kasumi Murai, Yuko Fujiwara, Veronica Valverde-Garduno, Michele Hammett, Sara Wells, Neil Dear, Stuart H. Orkin, Catherine Porcher, Paresh Vyas

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Specification and differentiation of the megakaryocyte and erythroid lineages from a common bipotential progenitor provides a well studied model to dissect binary cell fate decisions. To understand how the distinct megakaryocyte- and erythroid-specific gene programs arise, we have examined the transcriptional regulation of the megakaryocyte erythroid transcription factor GATA1. Hemopoietic-specific mouse (m)GATA1 expression requires the mGata1 enhancer mHS-3.5. Within mHS-3.5, the 3′ 179 bp of mHS-3.5 are required for megakaryocyte but not red cell expression. Here, we show mHS-3.5 binds key hemopoietic transcription factors in vivo and is required to maintain histone acetylation at the mGata1 locus in primary megakaryocytes. Analysis of GATA1-LacZ reporter gene expression in transgenic mice shows that a 25-bp element within the 3′-179 bp in mHS-3.5 is critical for megakaryocyte expression. In vitro three DNA binding activities A, B, and C bind to the core of the 25-bp element, and these binding sites are conserved through evolution. Activity A is the zinc finger transcription factor ZBP89 that also binds to other cis elements in the mGata1 locus. Activity B is of particular interest as it is present in primary megakaryocytes but not red cells. Furthermore, mutation analysis in transgenic mice reveals activity B is required for megakaryocyte-specific enhancer function. Bioinformatic analysis shows sequence corresponding to the binding site for activity B is a previously unrecognized motif, present in the cis elements of the Fli1 gene, another important megakaryocyte-specific transcription factor. In summary, we have identified amotif and a DNA binding activity likely to be important in directing a megakaryocyte gene expression program that is distinct from that in red cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13733-13742
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 12 May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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