(1/663) Use of altered specificity mutants to probe a specific protein-protein interaction in differentiation: the GATA-1:FOG complex.

GATA-1 and FOG (Friend of GATA-1) are each essential for erythroid and megakaryocyte development. FOG, a zinc finger protein, interacts with the amino (N) finger of GATA-1 and cooperates with GATA-1 to promote differentiation. To determine whether this interaction is critical for GATA-1 action, we selected GATA-1 mutants in yeast that fail to interact with FOG but retain normal DNA binding, as well a compensatory FOG mutant that restores interaction. These novel GATA-1 mutants do not promote erythroid differentiation of GATA-1- erythroid cells. Differentiation is rescued by the second-site FOG mutant. Thus, interaction of FOG with GATA-1 is essential for the function of GATA-1 in erythroid differentiation. These findings provide a paradigm for dissecting protein-protein associations involved in mammalian development.  (+info)

(2/663) Consequences of GATA-1 deficiency in megakaryocytes and platelets.

In the absence of the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA-1, mice develop thrombocytopenia and an increased number of megakaryocytes characterized by marked ultrastructural abnormalities. These observations establish a critical role for GATA-1 in megakaryopoiesis and raise the question as to how GATA-1 influences megakaryocyte maturation and platelet production. To begin to address this, we have performed a more detailed examination of the megakaryocytes and platelets produced in mice that lack GATA-1 in this lineage. Our analysis demonstrates that compared with their normal counterparts, GATA-1-deficient primary megakaryocytes exhibit significant hyperproliferation in liquid culture, suggesting that the megakaryocytosis seen in animals is nonreactive. Morphologically, these mutant megakaryocytes are small and show evidence of retarded nuclear and cytoplasmic development. A significant proportion of these cells do not undergo endomitosis and express markedly lower levels of mRNA of all megakaryocyte-associated genes tested, including GPIbalpha, GPIbbeta, platelet factor 4 (PF4), c-mpl, and p45 NF-E2. These results are consistent with regulation of a program of megakaryocytic differentiation by GATA-1. Bleeding times are significantly prolonged in mutant animals. GATA-1-deficient platelets show abnormal ultrastructure, reminiscent of the megakaryocytes from which they are derived, and exhibit modest but selective defects in platelet activation in response to thrombin or to the combination of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and epinephrine. Our findings indicate that GATA-1 serves multiple functions in megakaryocyte development, influencing both cellular growth and maturation.  (+info)

(3/663) Transcriptional targeting of retroviral vectors to the erythroblastic progeny of transduced hematopoietic stem cells.

Targeted expression to specific tissues or cell lineages is a necessary feature of a gene therapy vector for many clinical applications, such as correction of hemoglobinopathies or thalassemias by transplantation of genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells. We developed retroviral vectors in which the constitutive viral enhancer in the U3 region of the 3' LTR is replaced by an autoregulatory enhancer of the erythroid-specific GATA-1 transcription factor gene. The replaced enhancer is propagated to the 5' LTR upon integration into the target cell genome. The modified vectors were used to transduce human hematopoietic cell lines, cord blood-derived CD34(+) stem/progenitor cells, and murine bone marrow repopulating stem cells. The expression of appropriate reporter genes (triangle upLNGFR, EGFP) was analyzed in the differentiated progeny of transduced stem cells in vitro, in liquid culture as well as in clonogenic assay, and in vivo, after bone marrow transplantation in lethally irradiated mice. The GATA-1 autoregulatory enhancer effectively restricts the expression of the LTR-driven proviral transcription unit to the erythroblastic progeny of both human progenitors and mouse-repopulating stem cells. Packaging of viral particles, integration into the target genome, and stability of the integrated provirus are not affected by the LTR modification. Enhancer replacement is therefore an effective strategy to target expression of a retroviral transgene to a specific progeny of transduced hematopoietic stem cells.  (+info)

(4/663) Transcriptional cofactors of the FOG family interact with GATA proteins by means of multiple zinc fingers.

Friend of GATA-1 (FOG-1) is a zinc finger protein that has been shown to interact physically with the erythroid DNA-binding protein GATA-1 and modulate its transcriptional activity. Recently, two new members of the FOG family have been identified: a mammalian protein, FOG-2, that also associates with GATA-1 and other mammalian GATA factors; and U-shaped, a Drosophila protein that interacts with the Drosophila GATA protein Pannier. FOG proteins contain multiple zinc fingers and it has been shown previously that the sixth finger of FOG-1 interacts specifically with the N-finger but not the C-finger of GATA-1. Here we show that fingers 1, 5 and 9 of FOG-1 also interact with the N-finger of GATA-1 and that FOG-2 and U-shaped also contain multiple GATA-interacting fingers. We define the key contact residues and show that these residues are highly conserved in GATA-interacting fingers. We examine the effect of selectively mutating the four interacting fingers of FOG-1 and show that each contributes to FOG-1's ability to modulate GATA-1 activity. Finally, we show that FOG-1 can repress GATA-1-mediated activation and present evidence that this ability involves the recently described CtBP co-repressor proteins that recognize all known FOG proteins.  (+info)

(5/663) Cell-autonomous and non-autonomous requirements for the zebrafish gene cloche in hematopoiesis.

Vertebrate embryonic hematopoiesis is a complex process that involves a number of cellular interactions, notably those occurring between endothelial and blood cells. The zebrafish cloche mutation affects both the hematopoietic and endothelial lineages from an early stage (Stainier, D. Y. R., Weinstein, B. M., Detrich, H. W. R., Zon, L. I. and Fishman, M. C. (1995) Development 121, 3141-3150). cloche mutants lack endocardium, as well as head and trunk endothelium, and nearly all blood cells. Cell transplantation studies have revealed that the endocardial defect in cloche is cell-autonomous: wild-type cells can form endocardium in mutant hosts, but mutant cells never contribute to the endocardium in wild-type or mutant hosts. In this paper, we analyze the cell-autonomy of the blood defect in cloche. The blood cell deficiency in cloche mutants could be an indirect effect of the endothelial defects. Alternatively, cloche could be required cell-autonomously in the blood cells themselves. To distinguish between these possibilities, we cotransplanted wild-type and mutant cells into a single wild-type host in order to compare their respective hematopoietic capacity. We found that transplanted wild-type cells were much more likely than mutant cells to contribute to circulating blood in a wild-type host. Furthermore, in the few cases where both wild-type and mutant donors contributed to blood in a wild-type host, the number of blood cells derived from the wild-type donor was always much greater than the number of blood cells derived from the mutant donor. These data indicate that cloche is required cell-autonomously in blood cells for their differentiation and/or proliferation. When we assessed early expression of the erythropoietic gene gata-1 in transplant recipients, we found that mutant blastomeres were as likely as wild-type blastomeres to give rise to gata-1-expressing cells in a wild-type host. Together, these two sets of data argue that cloche is not required cell-autonomously for the differentiation of red blood cells, as assayed by gata-1 expression, but rather for their proliferation and/or survival, as assayed by their contribution to circulating blood. In addition, we found that transplanted wild-type cells were less likely to express gata-1 in a mutant environment than in a wild-type one, suggesting that cloche also acts non-autonomously in red blood cell differentiation. This non-autonomous function of cloche in red blood cell differentiation may reflect its cell-autonomous requirement in the endothelial lineage. Thus, cloche appears to be required in erythropoiesis cell non-autonomously at a step prior to gata-1 expression, and cell-autonomously subsequently.  (+info)

(6/663) Different sequence requirements for expression in erythroid and megakaryocytic cells within a regulatory element upstream of the GATA-1 gene.

The lineage-restricted transcription factor GATA-1 is required for differentiation of erythroid and megakaryocytic cells. We have localized a 317 base pair cis-acting regulatory element, HS I, associated with a hematopoietic-specific DNase I hypersensitive site, which lies approx. 3.7 kilobases upstream of the murine hematopoietic-specific GATA-1 IE promoter. HS I directs high-level expression of reporter GATA-1/lacZ genes to primitive and definitive erythroid cells and megakaryocytes in transgenic mice. Comparative sequence analysis of HS I between human and mouse shows approx. 63% nucleotide identity with a more conserved core of 169 base pairs (86% identity). This core contains a GATA site separated by 10 base pairs from an E-box motif. The composite motif binds a multi-protein hematopoietic-specific transcription factor complex which includes GATA-1, SCL/tal-1, E2A, Lmo2 and Ldb-1. Point mutations of the GATA site abolishes HS I function, whereas mutation of the E-box motif still allows reporter gene expression in both lineages. Strict dependence of HS I activity on a GATA site implies that assembly of a protein complex containing a GATA-factor, presumably GATA-1 or GATA-2, is critical to activating or maintaining its function. Further dissection of the 317 base pair region demonstrates that, whereas all 317 base pairs are required for expression in megakaryocytes, only the 5' 62 base pairs are needed for erythroid-specific reporter expression. These findings demonstrate differential lineage requirements for expression within the HS I element.  (+info)

(7/663) Direct interaction of hematopoietic transcription factors PU.1 and GATA-1: functional antagonism in erythroid cells.

Malignant transformation usually inhibits terminal cell differentiation but the precise mechanisms involved are not understood. PU.1 is a hematopoietic-specific Ets family transcription factor that is required for development of some lymphoid and myeloid lineages. PU.1 can also act as an oncoprotein as activation of its expression in erythroid precursors by proviral insertion or transgenesis causes erythroleukemias in mice. Restoration of terminal differentiation in the mouse erythroleukemia (MEL) cells requires a decline in the level of PU.1, indicating that PU.1 can block erythroid differentiation. Here we investigate the mechanism by which PU.1 interferes with erythroid differentiation. We find that PU.1 interacts directly with GATA-1, a zinc finger transcription factor required for erythroid differentiation. Interaction between PU.1 and GATA-1 requires intact DNA-binding domains in both proteins. PU.1 represses GATA-1-mediated transcriptional activation. Both the DNA binding and transactivation domains of PU.1 are required for repression and both domains are also needed to block terminal differentiation in MEL cells. We also show that ectopic expression of PU.1 in Xenopus embryos is sufficient to block erythropoiesis during normal development. Furthermore, introduction of exogenous GATA-1 in both MEL cells and Xenopus embryos and explants relieves the block to erythroid differentiation imposed by PU.1. Our results indicate that the stoichiometry of directly interacting but opposing transcription factors may be a crucial determinant governing processes of normal differentiation and malignant transformation.  (+info)

(8/663) GATA-1 and erythropoietin cooperate to promote erythroid cell survival by regulating bcl-xL expression.

The transcription factor GATA-1 is essential for normal erythropoiesis. By examining in vitro-differentiated embryonic stem cells, we showed previously that in the absence of GATA-1, committed erythroid precursors fail to complete maturation and instead undergo apoptosis. The mechanisms by which GATA-1 controls cell survival are unknown. Here we report that in erythroid cells, GATA-1 strongly induces the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-xL, but not the related proteins bcl-2 and mcl-1. Consistent with a role for bcl-xL in mediating GATA-1-induced erythroid cell survival, in vitro-differentiated bcl-xL-/- embryonic stem cells fail to generate viable mature definitive erythroid cells, a phenotype resembling that of GATA-1 gene disruption. In addition, we show that erythropoietin, which is also required for erythroid cell survival, cooperates with GATA-1 to stimulate bcl-xL gene expression and to maintain erythroid cell viability during terminal maturation. Together, our data show that bcl-xL is essential for normal erythroid development and suggest a regulatory hierarchy in which bcl-xL is a critical downstream effector of GATA-1 and erythropoietin-mediated signals.  (+info)