Far Upstream Element Binding Protein Plays a Crucial Role in Embryonic Development, Hematopoiesis, and Stabilizing Myc Expression Levels

Am J Pathol. 2016 Mar;186(3):701-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.10.028. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


The transcription factor far upstream element binding protein (FBP) binds and activates the MYC promoter when far upstream element is via TFIIH helicase activity early in the transcription cycle. The fundamental biology and pathology of FBP are complex. In some tumors FBP seems pro-oncogenic, whereas in others it is a tumor suppressor. We generated an FBP knockout (Fubp1(-/-)) mouse to study FBP deficiency. FBP is embryo lethal from embryonic day 10.5 to birth. A spectrum of pathology is associated with FBP loss; besides cerebral hyperplasia and pulmonary hypoplasia, pale livers, hypoplastic spleen, thymus, and bone marrow, cardiac hypertrophy, placental distress, and small size were all indicative of anemia. Immunophenotyping of hematopoietic cells in wild-type versus knockout livers revealed irregular trilineage anemia, with deficits in colony formation. Despite normal numbers of hematopoietic stem cells, transplantation of Fubp1(-/-) hematopoietic stem cells into irradiated mice entirely failed to reconstitute hematopoiesis. In competitive transplantation assays against wild-type donor bone marrow, Fubp1(-/-) hematopoietic stem cells functioned only sporadically at a low level. Although cultures of wild-type mouse embryo fibroblasts set Myc levels precisely, Myc levels of mouse varied wildly between fibroblasts harvested from different Fubp1(-/-) embryos, suggesting that FBP contributes to Myc set point fixation. FBP helps to hold multiple physiologic processes to close tolerances, at least in part by constraining Myc expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Development / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Hematopoiesis / genetics*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Pregnancy
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fubp protein, mouse
  • Myc protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc