Ikaros isoform x is selectively expressed in myeloid differentiation

J Immunol. 2003 Mar 15;170(6):3091-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.170.6.3091.


The Ikaros gene is alternately spliced to generate multiple DNA-binding and nonbinding isoforms that have been implicated as regulators of hematopoiesis, particularly in the lymphoid lineages. Although early reports of Ikaros mutant mice focused on lymphoid defects, these mice also show significant myeloid, erythroid, and stem cell defects. However, the specific Ikaros proteins expressed in these cells have not been determined. We recently described Ikaros-x (Ikx), a new Ikaros isoform that is the predominant Ikaros protein in normal human hematopoietic cells. In this study, we report that the Ikx protein is selectively expressed in human myeloid lineage cells, while Ik1 predominates in the lymphoid and erythroid lineages. Both Ik1 and Ikx proteins are expressed in early human hematopoietic cells (Lin(-)CD34(+)). Under culture conditions that promote specific lineage differentiation, Ikx is up-regulated during myeloid differentiation but down-regulated during lymphoid differentiation from human Lin(-)CD34(+) cells. We show that Ikx and other novel Ikaros splice variants identified in human studies are also expressed in murine bone marrow. In mice, as in humans, the Ikx protein is selectively expressed in the myeloid lineage. Our studies suggest that Ikaros proteins function in myeloid, as well as lymphoid, differentiation and that specific Ikaros isoforms may play a role in regulating lineage commitment decisions in mice and humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ikaros Transcription Factor
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • IKZF1 protein, human
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zfpn1a1 protein, mouse
  • Ikaros Transcription Factor