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Blood. 2000 Dec 15;96(13):4178-84.

Zebrafish homolog of the leukemia gene CBFB: its expression during embryogenesis and its relationship to scl and gata-1 in hematopoiesis.

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National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Mammalian CBFB encodes a transcription factor (CBF beta) that in combination with CBF alpha 2 binds to specific DNA sequences and regulates expression of a number of hematopoietic genes. CBFB is associated with human leukemias through a chromosome 16 inversion and is essential for definitive hematopoiesis during mouse embryo development. We have isolated a zebrafish cbfb complementary DNA (cDNA) clone from a zebrafish kidney cDNA library. This cbfb is highly homologous to human and mouse CBFB/Cbfb genes at both the DNA and protein level. In biochemical analyses, cbfbeta binds to human CBF alpha 2 and enhances its DNA binding. During zebrafish development, cbfb is expressed in the lateral plate mesoderm at tail bud stage and in the intermediate cell mass (ICM, the location of embryonic hematopoiesis) between the 21- to 26-somite stages. The cbfb is also expressed in Rohon-Beard cells, cranial nerve ganglia, hindbrain, retina, branchial arches, jaw, and fin buds. Expression of cbfb is decreased or absent in the ICM and Rohon-Beard cells in some hematopoietic mutants and is unaffected in others. We have also analyzed the expression of scl and gata-1 in the same hematopoietic mutants to ascertain the relative order of these transcription factors to cbfb in zebrafish hematopoiesis. Our results indicate that cbfb is expressed in early hematopoietic progenitors and that its expression pattern in the hematopoietic mutants is similar to that of scl. (Blood. 2000;96:4178-4184)

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