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Br J Haematol. 2011 Jul;154(2):248-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08710.x. Epub 2011 May 3.

Krüppel-like Factor 4 activates HBG gene expression in primary erythroid cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA.


The SP1/Krüppel-like Factor (SP1/KLF) family of transcription factors plays a role in diverse cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation and control of gene transcription. The discovery of KLF1 (EKLF), a key regulator of HBB (β-globin) gene expression, expanded our understanding of the role of KLFs in erythropoiesis. In this study, we investigated a mechanism of HBG (γ-globin) regulation by KLF4. siRNA-mediated gene silencing and enforced expression of KLF4 in K562 cells substantiated the ability of KLF4 to positively regulate endogenous HBG gene transcription. The physiological significance of this finding was confirmed in primary erythroid cells, where KLF4 knockdown at day 11 significantly attenuated HBG mRNA levels and enforced expression at day 28 stimulated the silenced HBG genes. In vitro binding characterization using the γ-CACCC and β-CACCC probes demonstrated KLF4 preferentially binds the endogenous γ-CACCC, while CREB binding protein (CREBBP) binding was not selective. Co-immunoprecipitation studies confirmed protein-protein interaction between KLF4 and CREBBP. Furthermore, sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed co-localization of both factors in the γ-CACCC region. Subsequent luciferase reporter studies demonstrated that KLF4 trans-activated HBG promoter activity and that CREBBP enforced expression resulted in gene repression. Our data supports a model of antagonistic interaction of KLF4/CREBBP trans-factors in HBG regulation.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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