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Blood. 1998 Jan 15;91(2):450-7.

Forced GATA-1 expression in the murine myeloid cell line M1: induction of c-Mpl expression and megakaryocytic/erythroid differentiation.

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Department of Cell Differentiation, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan.


The "zinc-finger" transcription factor GATA-1 was first shown in cells of erythroid lineage. It is also expressed in cells of other hematopoietic lineages including megakaryocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils. GATA-1 is now considered to be one of the central regulators in hematopoietic cell differentiation. To further analyze the role of GATA-1 in controlling differentiation from hematopoietic stem cells, we investigated the phenotypic changes induced by the overexpression of murine GATA-1 in the murine myeloid leukemic cell line, M1. Forced expression of GATA-1 induced the appearance of erythroid cells and megakaryocytes as assessed by cellular morphology, acetylcholinesterase activity, and expression of platelet factor 4 and beta-globin mRNA synthesis. Because the c-mpl ligand, thrombopoietin, plays an important role in megakaryopoiesis, the expression of c-mpl and c-mpl ligand (thrombopoietin) mRNA was analyzed by Northern blot and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in M1 cells overexpressing GATA-1. The c-mpl ligand mRNA was equally expressed both in parental M1 cells and in those transfected with the GATA-1 expression vector. In contrast, the mRNA expression of c-mpl was increased only in GATA-1 expressing M1 cells differentiated towards erythroid and megakaryocyte lineages. The increased expression of c-mpl mRNA induced by GATA-1 raised the question as to whether or not GATA-1 transactivated the c-mpl promoter. The activity of the c-mpl promoter in the presence of cotransfected GATA-1 was significantly increased compared with that of the control. A plasmid with the mutated GATA-binding site did not show transactivation ability in the cotransfection with a GATA expression vector. These findings suggest that the upregulation of c-mpl induced by GATA-1 expression in M1 cells is closely associated with erythroid and megakaryocytic differentiation.

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