GABP controls a critical transcription regulatory module that is essential for maintenance and differentiation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells

Blood. 2011 Feb 17;117(7):2166-78. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-09-306563. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


Maintaining a steady pool of self-renewing hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is critical for sustained production of multiple blood lineages. Many transcription factors and molecules involved in chromatin and epigenetic modifications have been found to be critical for HSC self-renewal and differentiation; however, their interplay is less understood. The transcription factor GA binding protein (GABP), consisting of DNA-binding subunit GABPα and transactivating subunit GABPβ, is essential for lymphopoiesis as shown in our previous studies. Here we demonstrate cell-intrinsic, absolute dependence on GABPα for maintenance and differentiation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Through genome-wide mapping of GABPα binding and transcriptomic analysis of GABPα-deficient HSCs, we identified Zfx and Etv6 transcription factors and prosurvival Bcl-2 family members including Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and Mcl-1 as direct GABP target genes, underlying its pivotal role in HSC survival. GABP also directly regulates Foxo3 and Pten and hence sustains HSC quiescence. Furthermore, GABP activates transcription of DNA methyltransferases and histone acetylases including p300, contributing to regulation of HSC self-renewal and differentiation. These systematic analyses revealed a GABP-controlled gene regulatory module that programs multiple aspects of HSC biology. Our studies thus constitute a critical first step in decoding how transcription factors are orchestrated to regulate maintenance and multipotency of HSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • ETS Translocation Variant 6 Protein
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor / deficiency
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor / genetics
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Hematopoiesis / genetics
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • FoxO3 protein, mouse
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor
  • Gabpa protein, mouse
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Repressor Proteins
  • zinc finger protein, X-linked
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Pten protein, mouse