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Genomics. 1999 Jul 15;59(2):168-77.

Gene expression in proliferating human erythroid cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Chemical Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


A complete understanding of human erythropoiesis will require a robust description of transcriptional activity in hematopoietic cells that proliferate and differentiate in response to erythropoietin (EPO). For this purpose, we cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the presence or in the absence of EPO and examined the transcriptional profile of those cells arising only in response to EPO. A distinct population of CD71( +) cells that demonstrated an average of six additional doublings in suspension culture and erythroid colony formation in methylcellulose was isolated. Suppression subtractive hybridization of mRNA isolated from those cells permitted the identification of transcribed genes. A summary of 719 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) describing 505 independent transcripts is provided here with a full analysis of each EST available at Several transcripts that matched genes previously reported in the context of erythroid differentiation including 4 cell surface proteins were expressed at this developmental stage. Active chromatin remodeling was suggested by the identification of 4 histone proteins, 4 high-mobility group proteins, 13 transcription factors, and 6 genes involved in DNA recombination and repair. Numerous genes associated with leukemic translocations were also recognized including topoisomerases I and II, nucleophosmin, Translin, EGR1, dek, pim-1, TFG, and MLL. In addition to known transcripts, 44 novel EST were discovered. This transcriptional profile provides the first genomic-scale description of gene activity in erythroid progenitor cells.

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