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Cell Death Differ. 2012 Jul;19(7):1117-26. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2011.195. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

The mitochondrial transporter ABC-me (ABCB10), a downstream target of GATA-1, is essential for erythropoiesis in vivo.

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Department of Medicine, Obesity and Nutrition section, Mitochondria ARC, Evans Biomedical Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine, MA, USA.


The mitochondrial transporter ATP binding cassette mitochondrial erythroid (ABC-me/ABCB10) is highly induced during erythroid differentiation by GATA-1 and its overexpression increases hemoglobin production rates in vitro. However, the role of ABC-me in erythropoiesis in vivo is unknown. Here we report for the first time that erythrocyte development in mice requires ABC-me. ABC-me-/- mice die at day 12.5 of gestation, showing nearly complete eradication of primitive erythropoiesis and lack of hemoglobinized cells at day 10.5. ABC-me-/- erythroid cells fail to differentiate because they exhibit a marked increase in apoptosis, both in vivo and ex vivo. Erythroid precursors are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress and ABC-me in the heart and its yeast ortholog multidrug resistance-like 1 have been shown to protect against oxidative stress. Thus, we hypothesized that increased apoptosis in ABC-me-/- erythroid precursors was caused by oxidative stress. Within this context, ABC-me deletion causes an increase in mitochondrial superoxide production and protein carbonylation in erythroid precursors. Furthermore, treatment of ABC-me-/- erythroid progenitors with the mitochondrial antioxidant MnTBAP (superoxide dismutase 2 mimetic) supports survival, ex vivo differentiation and increased hemoglobin production. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that ABC-me is essential for erythropoiesis in vivo.

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