The +37 kb Cebpa enhancer is critical for Cebpa myeloid gene expression and contains functional sites that bind SCL, GATA2, C/EBPα, PU.1, and additional Ets factors

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Abstract

The murine Cebpa gene contains an evolutionarily conserved 453 bp enhancer located at +37 kb that, together with its promoter, directs expression to myeloid progenitors and to long-term hematopoietic stem cells in transgenic mice. In human acute myeloid leukemia cases, the enhancer lacks point mutations but binds the RUNX1-ETO oncoprotein. The enhancer contains the H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac histone modifications, denoting an active enhancer, at progressively increasing levels as long-term hematopoietic stem cells transition to granulocyte-monocyte progenitors. We previously identified four enhancer sites that bind RUNX1 and demonstrated that their integrity is required for maximal enhancer activity in 32Dcl3 myeloid cells. The +37 kb Cebpa enhancer also contains C/EBP, Ets factor, Myb, GATA, and E-box consensus sites conserved in the human +42 kb CEBPA enhancer. Mutation of the two C/EBP, seven Ets, one Myb, two GATA, or two E-box sites reduces activity of an enhancer-promoter reporter in 32Dcl3 cells. In 293T gel shift assays, exogenous C/EBPα binds both C/EBP sites, c-Myb binds the Myb site, PU.1 binds the second Ets site, PU.1, Fli-1, ERG, and Ets1 bind the sixth Ets site, GATA2 binds both GATA sites, and SCL binds the second E-box. Endogenous hematopoietic RUNX1, PU.1, Fli-1, ERG, C/EBPα, GATA2, and SCL were previously shown to bind the enhancer, and we find that endogenous PU.1 binds the second Ets site in 32Dcl3 cells. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we developed 32Dcl3 lines in which the wild-type enhancer alleles are replaced with a variant mutant in the seven Ets sites. These lines have 20-fold reduced Cebpa mRNA when cultured in IL-3 or G-CSF, demonstrating a critical requirement for enhancer integrity for optimal Cebpa expression. In addition, these results indicate that the +37 kb Cebpa enhancer is the focus of multiple regulatory transcriptional pathways that impact its expression during normal hematopoiesis and potentially during myeloid transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0126385
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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