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EMBO J. 2006 Aug 9;25(15):3586-95. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

Lineage-specific activators affect beta-globin locus chromatin in multipotent hematopoietic progenitors.

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Guy-Bernier Research Centre, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


During development, the regulated expression of tissue-specific genes can be preceded by their potentiation, that is, by chromatin activation in progenitor cells. For example, the human beta-like globin genes are potentiated in a gene- and developmental-specific manner in hematopoietic progenitors. Developmental regulation of human beta-gene expression in erythroid cells is mostly determined by transcriptional activators; however, it is not clear how gene-specific potentiation is set in hematopoietic progenitors. Using human and transgenic multipotent hematopoietic progenitors, we demonstrate that human beta-globin locus activation is characterized by TBP, NF-E2, CBP and BRG1 recruitment at both the Locus Control Region and human beta-gene promoter. Our results further indicate that in hematopoietic progenitors, EKLF influences chromatin organization at the human beta-globin locus and is instrumental for human beta-gene potentiation. Thus, we show that lineage-specific transcriptional activators expressed at basal levels in progenitor cells can participate in gene potentiation.

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