Our efforts to forge principles for how GATA factors control development and function of the hematopoietic system led to the discovery of conserved Gata2 enhancers (+9.5 and -77) essential for hematopoiesis and other blood-regulatory enhancers. While genomic studies commonly predict enhancers, there were no reports of enhancers essential for stem cell genesis or progenitor fate decisions. Strikingly, +9.5 mutations resemble GATA2 coding mutations in causing human GATA2-deficiency syndrome involving immunodeficiency, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). -77 disruption also causes MDS/AML. This foundation led clinical centers to analyze -77 and +9.5 genetic variation. We discovered: 1) Whereas +9.5 and -77 confer progenitor cell fate, only +9.5 triggers hematopoietic stem cell genesis. 2) GATA2 loss with EVI1 upregulation is leukemogenic. 3) An ensemble of ?+9.5-like? enhancers exist, including one regulating a c-Kit facilitator that promotes erythrocyte regeneration and survival in severe anemia. 4) GATA2-regulated G-protein- coupled receptor circuits control hematopoiesis. 5) We described gain-of-function (GOF) GATA2 mutants, suggesting a paradigm-shift. 6) +9.5 single-nucleotide disease mutation dissociates developmental and regenerative activities, creating a bone marrow failure predisposition. The disease mutations, innovative mouse models, rescue assay and multiomics will enable the following aims.
Aim 1 will determine how a blood disease-causing enhancer establishes progenitor cell fate. -77-/- progenitors are defective in erythroid and granulocytic differentiation, yet competent to generate macrophages. Our proteomic and single-cell transcriptome data revealed that skewed differentiation involves upregulated interferon (IFN) response proteins. We hypothesize that convergence of GATA2 and IFN mechanisms is critical in progenitor biology. We will establish the -77-regulated transcriptome/proteome that controls progenitor fate and address key mechanistic issues.
Aim 2 will elucidate genetic determinants for the function of essential GATA2 enhancers. We generated compound heterozygous (CH) enhancer mutant mice (-77+/-;+9.5+/-) and discovered that both enhancers must reside on the same allele to regulate progenitor function. We are unaware of any example of a dual enhancer requirement for progenitor function, the mechanisms may inform human +9.5 and -77 enhanceropathies, we will elucidate the mechanisms.
Aim 3 will test models for how GATA2 human disease mutants exert gain-of-function activity. We innovated a rigorous rescue assay in which restoring GATA2 in - 77-/- progenitors normalizes skewed differentiation and transcription. Mutants assumed to be loss-of-function (LOF) surprisingly retained activity to rescue granulopoiesis and select target genes. We will test if all disease mutants exhibit GOF activity, elucidate the mechanisms and determine if activities parse mutants into groups that may ultimately inform clinical strategies. These studies will yield basic and translational insights into mechanisms governing GATA factors, hematopoiesis and diverse blood diseases.

Public Health Relevance

Elucidating mechanisms that regulate blood cell development is critical for devising novel therapeutics, e.g. for anemia insensitive to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents or GATA2-deficiency syndrome involving immunodeficiency and myelodysplastic syndrome, and innovating strategies to generate blood cells for transplantation therapies. We discovered enhancers essential for blood stem cell generation/function and progenitor cell differentiation, and mechanistic dissection of the enhancers and downstream processes has generated new scientific paradigms and clinical practice to screen for genetic variation in the enhancers. Our multidisciplinary studies utilizing human disease mutations, innovative mouse models, primary cell rescue assay and multiomics will enable testing of how enhancer-regulated networks govern stem/progenitor cells and suppress development of blood diseases in which therapies are critically needed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Hattangadi, Shilpa Manohar
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Katsumura, Koichi R; Mehta, Charu; Hewitt, Kyle J et al. (2018) Human leukemia mutations corrupt but do not abrogate GATA-2 function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E10109-E10118
Lu, Zhanping; Hong, Courtney C; Kong, Guangyao et al. (2018) Polycomb Group Protein YY1 Is an Essential Regulator of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Quiescence. Cell Rep 22:1545-1559
Bresnick, Emery H; Hewitt, Kyle J; Mehta, Charu et al. (2018) Mechanisms of erythrocyte development and regeneration: implications for regenerative medicine and beyond. Development 145:
McIver, Skye C; Hewitt, Kyle J; Gao, Xin et al. (2018) Dissecting Regulatory Mechanisms Using Mouse Fetal Liver-Derived Erythroid Cells. Methods Mol Biol 1698:67-89
Mehta, Charu; Johnson, Kirby D; Gao, Xin et al. (2017) Integrating Enhancer Mechanisms to Establish a Hierarchical Blood Development Program. Cell Rep 20:2966-2979
Hewitt, Kyle J; Katsumura, Koichi R; Matson, Daniel R et al. (2017) GATA Factor-Regulated Samd14 Enhancer Confers Red Blood Cell Regeneration and Survival in Severe Anemia. Dev Cell 42:213-225.e4
Zhang, Jingfang; Kong, Guangyao; Rajagopalan, Adhithi et al. (2017) p53-/- synergizes with enhanced NrasG12D signaling to transform megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors in acute myeloid leukemia. Blood 129:358-370
Katsumura, Koichi R; Bresnick, Emery H; GATA Factor Mechanisms Group (2017) The GATA factor revolution in hematology. Blood 129:2092-2102
Katsumura, Koichi R; Ong, Irene M; DeVilbiss, Andrew W et al. (2016) GATA Factor-Dependent Positive-Feedback Circuit in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells. Cell Rep 16:2428-41
Gao, Xin; Wu, Tongyu; Johnson, Kirby D et al. (2016) GATA Factor-G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Circuit Suppresses Hematopoiesis. Stem Cell Reports 6:368-82

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