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Blood. 2003 Nov 15;102(10):3575-83. Epub 2003 Jul 31.

Identification and characterization of 2 types of erythroid progenitors that express GATA-1 at distinct levels.

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Center for Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba 305-8577, Japan.


Transcription factor GATA-1 is essential for the development of the erythroid lineage. To ascertain whether strict control of GATA-1 expression level is necessary for achieving proper erythropoiesis, we established transgenic mouse lines expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the GATA-1 gene hematopoietic regulatory domain. We examined the GATA-1 expression level by exploiting the transgenic mice and found 2 GFP-positive hematopoietic progenitor fractions in the bone marrow. One is the GFPhigh fraction containing mainly CFU-E and proerythroblasts, which coexpress transferrin receptor, while the other is the GFPlow/transferrin receptor-negative fraction containing BFU-E. Since the intensity of green fluorescence correlates well with the expression level of GATA-1, these results indicate that GATA-1 is highly expressed in erythroid colony-forming unit (CFU-E) but low in erythroid burst-forming unit (BFU-E), suggesting that the incremental expression of GATA-1 is required for the formation of erythroid progenitors. We also examined GFP-positive fractions in the transgenic mouse spleen and fetal liver and identified fractions containing BFU-E and CFU-E, respectively. This study also presents an efficient method for enriching the CFU-E and BFU-E from mouse hematopoietic tissues.

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