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J Clin Invest. 2012 Oct;122(10):3692-704. doi: 10.1172/JCI61623. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Cis-element mutated in GATA2-dependent immunodeficiency governs hematopoiesis and vascular integrity.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, UW Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA.


Haploinsufficiency for GATA2 causes human immunodeficiency syndromes characterized by mycobacterial infection, myelodysplasia, lymphedema, or aplastic anemia that progress to myeloid leukemia. GATA2 encodes a master regulator of hematopoiesis that is also linked to endothelial biology. Though the disease-causing mutations commonly occur in the GATA-2 DNA binding domain, we identified a patient with mycobacterial infection and myelodysplasia who had an uncharacterized heterozygous deletion in a GATA2 cis-element consisting of an E-box and a GATA motif. Targeted deletion of the equivalent murine element to yield homozygous mutant mice revealed embryonic lethality later than occurred with global Gata2 knockout, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell depletion, and impaired vascular integrity. Heterozygous mutant mice were viable, but embryos exhibited deficits in definitive, but not primitive, hematopoietic stem/progenitor activity and reduced expression of Gata2 and its target genes. Mechanistic analysis revealed disruption of the endothelial cell transcriptome and loss of vascular integrity. Thus, the composite element disrupted in a human immunodeficiency is essential for establishment of the murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell compartment in the fetal liver and for essential vascular processes.

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