Role of GATA-1 in proliferation and differentiation of definitive erythroid and megakaryocytic cells in vivo

Satoru Takahashi, Takuya Komeno, Naruyoshi Suwabe, Keigyo Yoh, Osamu Nakajima, Sigeko Nishimura, Takashi Kuroha, Toshiro Nagasawa, Masayuki Yamamoto

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109 Citations (Scopus)


To elucidate the contributions of GATA-1 to definitive hematopoiesis in vivo, we have examined adult mice that were rendered genetically defective in GATA-1 synthesis (Takahashi et al, J Biol Chem 272:12611, 1997). Because the GATA-1 gene is located on the X chromosome, which is randomly inactivated in every cell, heterozygous females can bear either an active wild-type or mutant (referred to as GATA-1.05) GATA-1 allele, consequently leading to variable anemic severity. These heterozygous mutant mice usually developed normally, but they began to die after 5 months. These affected animals displayed marked splenomegaly, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Proerythroblasts and megakaryocytes massively accumulated in the spleens of the heterozygotes, and we showed that the neomycin resistance gene (which is the positive selection marker in ES cells) was expressed profusely in the abnormally abundant cells generated in the GATA-1.05 mutant females. We also observed hematopoiesis outside of the bone marrow in the affected mutant mice. These data suggest that a small number of GATA-1.05 mutant hematopoietic progenitor cells begin to proliferate vigorously during early adulthood, but because the cells are unable to terminally differentiate, this leads to progenitor proliferation in the spleen and consequently death. Thus, GATA-1 plays important in vivo roles for directing definitive hematopoietic progenitors to differentiate along both the erythroid and megakaryocytic pathways. The GATA- 1 heterozygous mutant mouse shows a phenotype that is analogous to human myelodysplastic syndrome and thus may serve as a useful model for this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-442
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jul 15


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