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Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Jan 15;11(2):147-52.

Different substitutions at residue D218 of the X-linked transcription factor GATA1 lead to altered clinical severity of macrothrombocytopenia and anemia and are associated with variable skewed X inactivation.

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Center for Molecular and Vascular Biology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


GATA1 is the X-linked transcriptional activator required for megakaryocyte and erythrocyte differentiation. Missense mutations in the N-terminal zinc finger (Nf) of GATA1 result in abnormal hematopoiesis, as documented in four families: the mutation V205M leads to both severe macrothrombocytopenia and dyserythropoietic anemia, D218G to macrothrombocytopenia and mild dyserythropoiesis without anemia, G208S to macrothrombocytopenia and R216Q to macrothrombocytopenia with beta-thalassemia. The three first GATA1 mutants display a disturbed binding to their essential transcription cofactor FOG1, whereas the fourth mutant shows an abnormal direct DNA binding. In this study, we describe a new family with deep macrothrombocytopenia, marked anemia and early mortality, if untreated, due to a different GATA1 mutation (D218Y) in the same residue 218 also implicated in the above mentioned milder phenotype. Zinc finger interaction studies revealed a stronger loss of affinity of D218Y-GATA1 than of D218G-GATA1 for FOG1 and a disturbed GATA1 self-association. Comparison of the phenotypic characteristics of patients from both families revealed that platelet and erythrocyte morphology as well as expression levels of the platelet GATA1-target gene products were more profoundly disturbed for the hemizygote D218Y mutation. The D218Y allele (as opposed to the D218G allele) was not expressed in the platelets of a female carrier while her leukocytes showed a skewed X-inactivation pattern. We conclude that the nature of the amino acid substitution at position 218 of the Nf of GATA1 is of crucial importance in determining the severity of the phenotype in X-linked macrothrombocytopenia patients and possibly also in inducing skewed X inactivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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