Cis-regulatory mechanisms governing stem and progenitor cell transitions

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Science Advances  04 Sep 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 8, e1500503
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500503


Cis-element encyclopedias provide information on phenotypic diversity and disease mechanisms. Although cis-element polymorphisms and mutations are instructive, deciphering function remains challenging. Mutation of an intronic GATA motif (+9.5) in GATA2, encoding a master regulator of hematopoiesis, underlies an immunodeficiency associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Whereas an inversion relocalizes another GATA2 cis-element (−77) to the proto-oncogene EVI1, inducing EVI1 expression and AML, whether this reflects ectopic or physiological activity is unknown. We describe a mouse strain that decouples −77 function from proto-oncogene deregulation. The −77−/− mice exhibited a novel phenotypic constellation including late embryonic lethality and anemia. The −77 established a vital sector of the myeloid progenitor transcriptome, conferring multipotentiality. Unlike the +9.5−/− embryos, hematopoietic stem cell genesis was unaffected in −77−/− embryos. These results illustrate a paradigm in which cis-elements in a locus differentially control stem and progenitor cell transitions, and therefore the individual cis-element alterations cause unique and overlapping disease phenotypes.

  • hematopoiesis
  • differentiation
  • stem cell
  • progenitor
  • GATA factor
  • GATA-2
  • cis-element
  • myeloid
  • transcriptome

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