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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 23;279(30):31348-56. Epub 2004 Apr 28.

Neurokinin-B transcription in erythroid cells: direct activation by the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA-1.

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University of Wisconsin Medical School, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Program, Department of Pharmacology, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


The GATA family of transcription factors establishes genetic networks that control developmental processes including hematopoiesis, vasculogenesis, and cardiogenesis. We found that GATA-1 strongly activates transcription of the Tac-2 gene, which encodes proneurokinin-B, a precursor of neurokinin-B (NK-B). Neurokinins function through G protein-coupled transmembrane receptors to mediate diverse physiological responses including pain perception and the control of vascular tone. Whereas an elevated level of NK-B was implicated in pregnancy-associated pre-eclampsia (Page, N. M., Woods, R. J., Gardiner, S. M., Lomthaisong, K., Gladwell, R. T., Butlin, D. J., Manyonda, I. T., and Lowry, P. J. (2000) Nature 405, 797-800), the regulation of NK-B synthesis and function are poorly understood. Tac-2 was expressed in normal murine erythroid cells and was induced upon ex vivo erythropoiesis. An estrogen receptor fusion to GATA-1 (ER-GATA-1) and endogenous GATA-1 both occupied a region of Tac-2 intron-7, which contains two conserved GATA motifs. Genetic complementation analysis in GATA-1-null G1E cells revealed that endogenous GATA-2 occupied the same region of intron-7, and expression of ER-GATA-1 displaced GATA-2 and activated Tac-2 transcription. Erythroid cells did not express neurokinin receptors, whereas aortic and yolk sac endothelial cells differentially expressed neurokinin receptor subtypes. Since NK-B induced cAMP accumulation in yolk sac endothelial cells, these results suggest a new mode of vascular regulation in which GATA-1 controls NK-B synthesis in erythroid cells.

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