The transcription factors GATA-1 and GATA-2 play key roles in gene regulation during erythropoiesis. Gene ablation studies in mouse revealed that GATA-2 is crucial for the maintenance and proliferation of immature hematopoietic progenitors, whereas GATA-1 is essential for the survival of erythroid progenitors as well as the terminal differentiation of erythroid cells. Both GATA-1 and GATA-2 are regulated in a cell-type-specific manner, their expression being strictly controlled during the development and differentiation of erythroid cells. Closer examination revealed a cross-regulatory mechanism by which GATA-1 can control the expression of GATA-2 and vice versa, possibly via essential GATA binding sites in their cis-acting elements. In addition, recent studies identified several human inherited hematopoietic disorders that are caused by mutations in cis-acting GATA binding motifs or mutations in GATA-1 itself.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel