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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Oct;20(20):7662-72.

Induction of human fetal globin gene expression by a novel erythroid factor, NF-E4.

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  • 1Rotary Bone Marrow Research Laboratory, Royal Melbourne Hospital Research Foundation, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


The stage selector protein (SSP) is a heteromeric complex involved in preferential expression of the human gamma-globin genes in fetal-erythroid cells. We have previously identified the ubiquitous transcription factor CP2 as a component of this complex. Using the protein dimerization domain of CP2 in a yeast two-hybrid screen, we have cloned a novel gene, NF-E4, encoding the tissue-restricted component of the SSP. NF-E4 and CP2 coimmunoprecipitate from extract derived from a fetal-erythroid cell line, and antiserum to NF-E4 ablates binding of the SSP to the gamma promoter. NF-E4 is expressed in fetal liver, cord blood, and bone marrow and in the K562 and HEL cell lines, which constitutively express the fetal globin genes. Enforced expression of NF-E4 in K562 cells and primary erythroid progenitors induces endogenous fetal globin gene expression, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention in the hemoglobinopathies.

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