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Curr Biol. 2001 Sep 4;11(17):1353-7.

Critical role of biklf in erythroid cell differentiation in zebrafish.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hematopoietic cells arise from ventral mesoderm in different vertebrates, but the mechanisms through which various factors contribute to the hematopoietic processes, including erythrogenesis, remain incompletely understood. The Kr├╝ppel-like transcription factor Biklf is preferentially expressed in blood islands throughout zebrafish embryogenesis, marking the region of future erythropoiesis [1]. In this paper, we show that expression of biklf is significantly suppressed in the blood-less mutants vampire and m683 in which primitive hematopoiesis is impaired. Knockdown of biklf using morpholino-based antisense oligonucleotides (biklf-MO) led to a potent reduction in the number of circulating blood cells and deficiency in hemoglobin production. Consistently, we found that the expression of beta(e3)globin is strongly suppressed in biklf-MO-injected embryos, while gata1 expression is partly inhibited at the 10-somite stage. In addition, analysis of reporter constructs driven by the GATA1 and beta-globin promoters showed that Biklf can positively regulate both genes. These results indicate that Biklf is required for erythroid cell differentiation in zebrafish.

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