Constructing and deconstructing GATA2-regulated cell fate programs to establish developmental trajectories.
ABSTRACT: Stem and progenitor cell fate transitions constitute key decision points in organismal development that enable access to a developmental path or actively preclude others. Using the hematopoietic system, we analyzed the relative importance of cell fate-promoting mechanisms versus negating fate-suppressing mechanisms to engineer progenitor cells with multilineage differentiation potential. Deletion of the murine Gata2-77 enhancer, with a human equivalent that causes leukemia, downregulates the transcription factor GATA2 and blocks progenitor differentiation into erythrocytes, megakaryocytes, basophils, and granulocytes, but not macrophages. Using multiomics and single-cell analyses, we demonstrated that the enhancer orchestrates a balance between pro- and anti-fate circuitry in single cells. By increasing GATA2 expression, the enhancer instigates a fate-promoting mechanism while abrogating an innate immunity-linked, fate-suppressing mechanism. During embryogenesis, the suppressing mechanism dominated in enhancer mutant progenitors, thus yielding progenitors with a predominant monocytic differentiation potential. Coordinating fate-promoting and -suppressing circuits therefore averts deconstruction of a multifate system into a monopotent system and maintains critical progenitor heterogeneity and functionality.
Project description:Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical immune response regulators; however, the mechanism of DC differentiation is not fully understood. Heterozygous germ line GATA2 mutations induce GATA2-deficiency syndrome, characterized by monocytopenia, a predisposition to myelodysplasia/acute myeloid leukemia, and a profoundly reduced DC population, which is associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections, impaired phagocytosis, and decreased cytokine production. To define the role of GATA2 in DC differentiation and function, we studied Gata2 conditional knockout and haploinsufficient mice. Gata2 conditional deficiency significantly reduced the DC count, whereas Gata2 haploinsufficiency did not affect this population. GATA2 was required for the in vitro generation of DCs from Lin(-)Sca-1(+)Kit(+) cells, common myeloid-restricted progenitors, and common dendritic cell precursors, but not common lymphoid-restricted progenitors or granulocyte-macrophage progenitors, suggesting that GATA2 functions in the myeloid pathway of DC differentiation. Moreover, expression profiling demonstrated reduced expression of myeloid-related genes, including mafb, and increased expression of T-lymphocyte-related genes, including Gata3 and Tcf7, in Gata2-deficient DC progenitors. In addition, GATA2 was found to bind an enhancer element 190-kb downstream region of Gata3, and a reporter assay exhibited significantly reduced luciferase activity after adding this enhancer region to the Gata3 promoter, which was recovered by GATA sequence deletion within Gata3 +190. These results suggest that GATA2 plays an important role in cell-fate specification toward the myeloid vs T-lymphocyte lineage by regulating lineage-specific transcription factors in DC progenitors, thereby contributing to DC differentiation.
Project description:By inducing the generation and function of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, the master regulator of hematopoiesis GATA-2 controls the production of all blood cell types. Heterozygous <i>GATA2</i> mutations cause immunodeficiency, myelodysplastic syndrome, and acute myeloid leukemia. <i>GATA2</i> disease mutations commonly disrupt amino acid residues that mediate DNA binding or <i>cis</i>-elements within a vital <i>GATA2</i> intronic enhancer, suggesting a haploinsufficiency mechanism of pathogenesis. Mutations also occur in <i>GATA2</i> coding regions distinct from the DNA-binding carboxyl-terminal zinc finger (C-finger), including the amino-terminal zinc finger (N-finger), and N-finger function is not established. Whether distinct mutations differentially impact GATA-2 mechanisms is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that N-finger mutations decreased GATA-2 chromatin occupancy and attenuated target gene regulation. We developed a genetic complementation assay to quantify GATA-2 function in myeloid progenitor cells from <i>Gata2</i> -77 enhancer-mutant mice. GATA-2 complementation increased erythroid and myeloid differentiation. While GATA-2 disease mutants were not competent to induce erythroid differentiation of Lin<sup>-</sup>Kit<sup>+</sup> myeloid progenitors, unexpectedly, they promoted myeloid differentiation and proliferation. As the myelopoiesis-promoting activity of GATA-2 mutants exceeded that of GATA-2, <i>GATA2</i> disease mutations are not strictly inhibitory. Thus, we propose that the haploinsufficiency paradigm does not fully explain GATA-2-linked pathogenesis, and an amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative defects instigated by <i>GATA2</i> mutations underlies the complex phenotypes of GATA-2-dependent pathologies.
Project description:Transcriptional profiling of mouse comparing in vitro-derived DC progenitors from control and Gata2 conditional knockout mice. Two-condition experiment, Control DCs vs. G2 Knockout DCs. Biological replicates: 4 control, 3 Gata2 knockout, independently grown and harvested. One replicate per array. Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical immune response regulators; however, the mechanism of DC differentiation is not fully understood. Heterozygous germline GATA2 mutations induce GATA2 deficiency syndrome, characterized by monocytopenia, a predisposition to myelodysplasia/acute myeloid leukemia, and a profoundly reduced DC population, which is associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections, impaired phagocytosis, and decreased cytokine production. To define the role of GATA2 in DC differentiation and function, we studied Gata2 conditional knockout and haploinsufficient mice. Gata2 conditional deficiency significantly reduced the DC count, whereas Gata2 haploinsufficiency did not affect this population. GATA2 was required for the in vitro generation of DCs from Linâ??Sca-1+Kit+ cells, common myeloid-restricted progenitors, and common dendritic cell precursors, but not common lymphoid-restricted progenitors or granulocyte-macrophage progenitors, suggesting that GATA2 functions in the myeloid pathway of DC differentiation. Moreover, expression profiling demonstrated reduced expression of myeloid-related genes, including mafb, and increased expression of T-lymphocyte-related genes, including Gata3 and Tcf7, in Gata2-deficient DC progenitors. In addition, GATA2 was found to bind an enhancer element 190-kb downstream region of Gata3, and a reporter assay exhibited significantly reduced luciferase activity after adding this enhancer region to the Gata3 promoter, which was recovered by GATA sequence deletion within Gata3 +190. These results suggest that GATA2 plays an important role in cell fate specification toward the myeloid versus T lymphocyte lineage by regulating lineage-specific transcription factors in DC progenitors, thereby contributing to DC differentiation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The pituitary gland is a neuroendocrine organ containing diverse cell types specialized in secreting hormones that regulate physiology. Pituitary thyrotropes produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a critical factor for growth and maintenance of metabolism. The transcription factors POU1F1 and GATA2 have been implicated in thyrotrope fate, but the transcriptomic and epigenomic landscapes of these neuroendocrine cells have not been characterized. The goal of this work was to discover transcriptional regulatory elements that drive thyrotrope fate.<h4>Results</h4>We identified the transcription factors and epigenomic changes in chromatin that are associated with differentiation of POU1F1-expressing progenitors into thyrotropes using cell lines that represent an undifferentiated Pou1f1 lineage progenitor (GHF-T1) and a committed thyrotrope line that produces TSH (TαT1). We compared RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, histone modification (H3K27Ac, H3K4Me1, and H3K27Me3), and POU1F1 binding in these cell lines. POU1F1 binding sites are commonly associated with bZIP transcription factor consensus binding sites in GHF-T1 cells and Helix-Turn-Helix (HTH) or basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) factors in TαT1 cells, suggesting that these classes of transcription factors may recruit or cooperate with POU1F1 binding at unique sites. We validated enhancer function of novel elements we mapped near Cga, Pitx1, Gata2, and Tshb by transfection in TαT1 cells. Finally, we confirmed that an enhancer element near Tshb can drive expression in thyrotropes of transgenic mice, and we demonstrate that GATA2 enhances Tshb expression through this element.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These results extend the ENCODE multi-omic profiling approach to the pituitary gland, which should be valuable for understanding pituitary development and disease pathogenesis.
Project description:Hematopoietic development requires the transcription factor GATA-2, and GATA-2 mutations cause diverse pathologies, including leukemia. GATA-2-regulated enhancers increase Gata2 expression in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and control hematopoiesis. The +9.5-kb enhancer activates transcription in endothelium and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and its deletion abrogates HSC generation. The -77-kb enhancer activates transcription in myeloid progenitors, and its deletion impairs differentiation. Since +9.5-/- embryos are HSC deficient, it was unclear whether the +9.5 functions in progenitors or if GATA-2 expression in progenitors solely requires -77. We further dissected the mechanisms using -77;+9.5 compound heterozygous (CH) mice. The embryonic lethal CH mutation depleted megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitors (MEPs). While the +9.5 suffices for HSC generation, the -77 and +9.5 must reside on one allele to induce MEPs. The -77 generated burst-forming unit-erythroid through the induction of GATA-1 and other GATA-2 targets. The enhancer circuits controlled signaling pathways that orchestrate a GATA factor-dependent blood development program.
Project description:Multipotent cortical progenitor cells differentiate into neurons and glial cells during development; however, mechanisms governing the specification of progenitors to a neuronal fate are not well understood. Although both extrinsic and intrinsic factors regulate this process, little is known about kinase signaling mechanisms that direct neuronal fate. Here, we report that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 5 is expressed and active in proliferating cortical progenitors. Lentiviral gene delivery of a dominant negative ERK5 or dominant negative MAP kinase kinase 5 reduced the number of neurons generated from rat cortical progenitor cells in culture, whereas constitutive activation of ERK5 increased the production of neurons. Furthermore, when cortical progenitor cells were treated with ciliary neurotrophic factor, which induces precocious glial differentiation, ERK5 activation still promoted neuronal fate while suppressing glial differentiation. Our data also indicate that ERK5 does not directly regulate proliferation or apoptosis of cultured cortical progenitors. We conclude that ERK5 is necessary and sufficient to stimulate the generation of neurons from cortical progenitors. These results suggest a previously uncharacterized function for ERK5 signaling during brain development and raise the interesting possibility that extrinsic factors may instruct cortical progenitors to become neurons by activating the ERK5 pathway.
Project description:Erythroid commitment and differentiation are regulated by the coordinated action of a host of transcription factors, including GATA2 and GATA1. Here, we explored GATA-mediated transcriptional regulation through the integrative analysis of gene expression, chromatin modifications, and GATA factors' binding in human multipotent hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, early erythroid progenitors, and late precursors. A progressive loss of H3K27 acetylation and a diminished usage of active enhancers and super-enhancers were observed during erythroid commitment and differentiation. GATA factors mediate transcriptional changes through a stage-specific interplay with regulatory elements: GATA1 binds different sets of regulatory elements in erythroid progenitors and precursors and controls the transcription of distinct genes during commitment and differentiation. Importantly, our results highlight a pivotal role of promoters in determining the transcriptional program activated upon erythroid differentiation. Finally, we demonstrated that GATA1 binding to a stage-specific super-enhancer sustains the expression of the KIT receptor in human erythroid progenitors.
Project description:In the early fetal liver, hematopoietic progenitors expand and mature together with hepatoblasts, the liver progenitors of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Previous analyses of human fetal livers indicated that both progenitors support each other's lineage maturation and curiously share some cell surface markers including CD34 and CD133. Using the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) system, we demonstrate that virtually all hESC-derived hepatoblast-like cells (Hep cells) transition through a progenitor stage expressing CD34 and CD133 as well as GATA2, an additional hematopoietic marker that has not previously been associated with human hepatoblast development. Dynamic expression patterns for CD34, CD133, and GATA2 in hepatoblasts were validated in human fetal livers collected from the first and second trimesters of gestation. Knockdown experiments demonstrate that each gene also functions to regulate hepatic fate mostly in a cell-autonomous fashion, revealing unprecedented roles of fetal hematopoietic progenitor markers in human liver progenitors.
Project description:Chromosomal rearrangements between 3q21 and 3q26 elicit high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is often associated with elevated platelet and megakaryocyte (Mk) numbers. The 3q rearrangements reposition a GATA2 enhancer near the EVI1 (or MECOM) locus, which results in both EVI1 overexpression and GATA2 haploinsufficiency. However, the mechanisms explaining how the misexpression of these 2 genes individually contribute to leukemogenesis are unknown. To clarify the characteristics of differentiation defects caused by EVI1 and GATA2 misexpression and to identify the cellular origin of leukemic cells, we generated a system to monitor both inv(3) allele-driven EVI1 and Gata2 expression in 3q-rearranged AML model mice. A cell population in which both EVI1 and Gata2 were highly induced appeared in the bone marrows before the onset of frank leukemia. This population had acquired serial colony-forming potential. Because hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and Mks were enriched in this peculiar population, we analyzed the independent EVI1 and GATA2 contributions to HSPC and Mk. We found that inv(3)-driven EVI1 promotes accumulation of Mk-biased and myeloid-biased progenitors, Mks, and platelets, and that Gata2 heterozygous deletion enhanced Mk-lineage skewing of EVI1-expressing progenitors. Notably, inv(3)-directed EVI1 expression and Gata2 haploinsufficient expression cooperatively provoke a leukemia characterized by abundant Mks and platelets. These hematological features of the mouse model phenocopy those observed in human 3q AML. On the basis of these results, we conclude that inv(3)-driven EVI1 expression in HSPCs and Mks collaborates with Gata2 haploinsufficiency to provoke Mk-lineage skewing and leukemogenesis with excessive platelets, thus mimicking an important feature of human AML.
Project description:Primitive erythropoiesis is regulated in a non cell-autonomous fashion across evolution from frogs to mammals. In Xenopus laevis, signals from the overlying ectoderm are required to induce the mesoderm to adopt an erythroid fate. Previous studies in our lab identified the transcription factor GATA2 as a key regulator of this ectodermal signal. To identify GATA2 target genes in the ectoderm required for red blood cell formation in the mesoderm, we used microarray analysis to compare gene expression in ectoderm from GATA2 depleted and wild type embryos. Our analysis identified components of the non-canonical and canonical Wnt pathways as being reciprocally up- and down-regulated downstream of GATA2 in both mesoderm and ectoderm. We show that up-regulation of canonical Wnt signaling during gastrulation blocks commitment to a hematopoietic fate while down-regulation of non-canonical Wnt signaling impairs erythroid differentiation. Our results are consistent with a model in which GATA2 contributes to inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling, thereby permitting progenitors to exit the cell cycle and commit to a hematopoietic fate. Subsequently, activation of non-canonical Wnt signaling plays a later role in enabling these progenitors to differentiate as mature red blood cells.