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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 25;111(12):E1091-100. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400065111. Epub 2014 Mar 10.

Mechanism governing a stem cell-generating cis-regulatory element.

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Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53705.


The unremitting demand to replenish differentiated cells in tissues requires efficient mechanisms to generate and regulate stem and progenitor cells. Although master regulatory transcription factors, including GATA binding protein-2 (GATA-2), have crucial roles in these mechanisms, how such factors are controlled in developmentally dynamic systems is poorly understood. Previously, we described five dispersed Gata2 locus sequences, termed the -77, -3.9, -2.8, -1.8, and +9.5 GATA switch sites, which contain evolutionarily conserved GATA motifs occupied by GATA-2 and GATA-1 in hematopoietic precursors and erythroid cells, respectively. Despite common attributes of transcriptional enhancers, targeted deletions of the -2.8, -1.8, and +9.5 sites revealed distinct and unpredictable contributions to Gata2 expression and hematopoiesis. Herein, we describe the targeted deletion of the -3.9 site and mechanistically compare the -3.9 site with other GATA switch sites. The -3.9(-/-) mice were viable and exhibited normal Gata2 expression and steady-state hematopoiesis in the embryo and adult. We established a Gata2 repression/reactivation assay, which revealed unique +9.5 site activity to mediate GATA factor-dependent chromatin structural transitions. Loss-of-function analyses provided evidence for a mechanism in which a mediator of long-range transcriptional control [LIM domain binding 1 (LDB1)] and a chromatin remodeler [Brahma related gene 1 (BRG1)] synergize through the +9.5 site, conferring expression of GATA-2, which is known to promote the genesis and survival of hematopoietic stem cells.


HSCs; cis element

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