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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;27(19):6889-902. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

Epigenetic regulation of protein-coding and microRNA genes by the Gfi1-interacting tumor suppressor PRDM5.

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  • 1Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Gfi1 transcriptionally governs hematopoiesis, and its mutations produce neutropenia. In an effort to identify Gfi1-interacting proteins and also to generate new candidate genes causing neutropenia, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen with Gfi1. Among other Gfi1-interacting proteins, we identified a previously uncharacterized member of the PR domain-containing family of tumor suppressors, PRDM5. PRDM5 has 16 zinc fingers, and we show that it acts as a sequence-specific, DNA binding transcription factor that targets hematopoiesis-associated protein-coding and microRNA genes, including many that are also targets of Gfi1. PRDM5 epigenetically regulates transcription similarly to Gfi1: it recruits the histone methyltransferase G9a and class I histone deacetylases to its target gene promoters and demonstrates repressor activity on synthetic reporters; on endogenous target genes, however, it functions as an activator, in addition to a repressor. Interestingly, genes that PRDM5 activates, as opposed to those it represses, are also targets of Gfi1, suggesting a competitive mechanism through which two repressors could cooperate in order to become transcriptional activators. In neutropenic patients, we identified PRDM5 protein sequence variants perturbing transcriptional function, suggesting a potentially important role in hematopoiesis.

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