The transcription factor profile of human mast cells in comparison with monocytes and granulocytes

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Jan;62(2):214-26. doi: 10.1007/s00018-004-4480-6.


Expression profiles of mRNAs and proteins for various transcription factors were determined for human skin mast cells (sMCs), leukemic HMC-1 MCs, monocytes and granulocytes. By quantitative RT-PCR, sMCs expressed lower levels of c-fos, PU.1, C/EBPalpha, and C/EBPepsilon than monocytes and granulocytes, but higher levels of MITF, SCL, GATA-1 and GATA-2. At the protein level, MITF, SCL, GATA-2, Elf-1 and c-fos were clearly detectable in sMCs. With the exception of c-fos, these proteins were absent or expressed only slightly in monocytes and granulocytes. The expression of NF-E2p45, GATA-1, PU.1, Ets-1, C/EBPalpha and C/EBPepsilon was below the detection limit in sMCs, but detectable in other myelocytes. The high expression of SCL and GATA-2 in sMCs is reminiscent of stem cells. The absence of C/EBPvarepsilon in sMCs, but strong expression in HMC-1, suggests it may impair MC maturation. In summary, mature human MCs can be characterized as C/EBPalpha(low), C/EBPvarepsilon-, PU.1(low), GATA-1(low), GATA-2+, SCL+, MITF(high).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • GATA2 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Granulocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sp3 Transcription Factor
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA2 Transcription Factor
  • GATA2 protein, human
  • Gata2 protein, mouse
  • Gata2 protein, rat
  • Transcription Factors
  • Sp3 Transcription Factor
  • Protein Kinases
  • Sp1 kinase