NF-M (chicken C/EBP beta) induces eosinophilic differentiation and apoptosis in a hematopoietic progenitor cell line

EMBO J. 1995 Dec 15;14(24):6127-35. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1995.tb00303.x.


CAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) are transcriptional activators implicated in the differentiation processes of various cell lineages. We have shown earlier that NF-M, the chicken homolog of C/EBP beta, is specifically expressed in myelomonocytic and eosinophilic cells of the hematopoietic system. To investigate the role of NF-M in hematopoietic cell lineage commitment, we constructed a conditional form of the protein by fusing it to the hormone binding domain of the human estrogen receptor. This construct was stably expressed in a multipotent progenitor cell line transformed by the Myb-Ets oncoprotein. We report here that both NF-M-dependent promoter constructs and resident genes could be activated by addition of beta-estradiol to the NF-M-estrogen receptor expressing progenitors. At the same time, we observed a down-regulation of progenitor-specific surface markers and the up-regulation of differentiation markers restricted to the eosinophil and myeloid lineages. In addition to the onset of differentiation, cell death was induced with typical apoptotic features. Our results suggest that NF-M plays an important role in commitment along the eosinophil lineage and in the induction of apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Chickens
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Eosinophils / cytology*
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antigens, Surface
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • nuclear factor NF-M