Activation of β-major globin gene transcription is associated with recruitment of NF-E2 to the β-globin LCR and gene promoter

Tomoyuki Sawado, Kazuhiko Igarashi, Mark Groudine

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116 Citations (Scopus)


The mouse β-globin gene locus control region (LCR), located upstream of the β-globin gene cluster, is essential for the activated transcription of genes in the cluster. The LCR contains multiple binding sites for transactivators, including Maf-recognition elements (MAREs). However, little is known about the specific proteins that bind to these sites or the time at which they bind during erythroid differentiation. We have performed chromatin immuno-precipitation experiments to determine the recruitment of the erythroid-specific transactivator p45 NF-E2/MafK (p18 NF-E2) heterodimer and small Maf proteins to various regions in the globin gene locus before and after the induction of murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cell differentiation. We report that, before induction, the LCR is occupied by small Maf proteins, and, on erythroid maturation, the NF-E2 complex is recruited to the LCR and the active globin promoters, even though the promoters do not contain MAREs. This differentiation-coupled recruitment of NF-E2 complex correlates with a greater than 100-fold increase in β-major globin transcription, but is not associated with a significant change in locus-wide histone H3 acetylation. These findings suggest that the β-globin gene locus exists in a constitutively open chromatin conformation before terminal differentiation, and we speculate that recruitment of NF-E2 complex to the LCR and active promoters may be a rate-limiting step in the activation of β-globin gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10226-10231
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Aug 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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