Direct binding of pRb/E2F-2 to GATA-1 regulates maturation and terminal cell division during erythropoiesis

Zahra Kadri, Ritsuko Shimizu, Osamu Ohneda, Leila Maouche-Chretien, Sylvie Gisselbrecht, Masayuki Yamamoto, Paul Henri Romeo, Philippe Leboulch, Stany Chretien

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60 Citations (Scopus)


How cell proliferation subsides as cells terminally differentiate remains largely enigmatic, although this phenomenon is central to the existence of multicellular organisms. Here, we show that GATA-1, the master transcription factor of erythropoiesis, forms a tricomplex with the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and E2F-2. This interaction requires a LXCXE motif that is evolutionary conserved among GATA-1 orthologs yet absent from the other GATA family members. GATA-1/pRb/E2F-2 complex formation stalls cell proliferation and steers erythroid precursors towards terminal differentiation. This process can be disrupted in vitro by FOG-1, which displaces pRb/E2F-2 from GATA-1. A GATA-1 mutant unable to bind pRb fails to inhibit cell proliferation and results in mouse embryonic lethality by anemia. These findings clarify the previously suspected cell-autonomous role of pRb during erythropoiesis and may provide a unifying molecular mechanism for several mouse phenotypes and human diseases associated with GATA-1 mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1000123
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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