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Gene Review

spi1b  -  Spi-1 proto-oncogene b

Danio rerio

Synonyms: SO:0000704, cb1086, pu.1, pu1, sfpi1, ...
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High impact information on spi1

  • The pu.1 promoter drives myeloid gene expression in zebrafish [1].
  • The spi1 (pu.1) gene has recently been identified as a useful marker of early myeloid cells in zebrafish [2].
  • We show here that the Bmp receptor lost-a-fin/alk8 is required for rostral pu.1 expression and myelopoiesis, identifying an early genetic event that distinguishes between the induction of anterior and posterior hematopoiesis [3].
  • Rostrally, the cells of the anterior lateral plate mesoderm (ALPM) give rise exclusively to cells of the myeloid lineage in a pu.1-dependent manner [3].
  • These studies demonstrate that, in zebrafish, spi1 marks a rostral population of LPM cells committed to a myeloid fate anatomically separated from and developmentally independent of erythroid commitment in the caudal LPM [4].

Biological context of spi1

  • Transient transgenesis revealed that a 5.3 kilobase promoter fragment immediately upstream of the spi1 coding sequence was sufficient to drive expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in injected embryos in a manner that largely recapitulated the native spi1 gene expression pattern [2].
  • Hematopoietic expression of runx3 commences late in embryogenesis in the ventral tail intermediate cell mass and later colocalizes with spi1 and lyz in circulating blood cells [5].

Anatomical context of spi1


Other interactions of spi1

  • Gene knockdown experiments and transplantation assays demonstrated the reciprocal negative regulation of pu.1 and gata1 and their non-cell-autonomous regulation that determines myeloid versus erythroid MPC fate in the distinct blood-forming regions [6].
  • Furthermore, forced expression of pu.1 in the bloodless mutant cloche resulted in myelopoietic rescue, providing intriguing evidence that this gene can function in the absence of some stem cell genes, such as scl, in governing myelopoiesis [6].


  1. The pu.1 promoter drives myeloid gene expression in zebrafish. Hsu, K., Traver, D., Kutok, J.L., Hagen, A., Liu, T.X., Paw, B.H., Rhodes, J., Berman, J.N., Zon, L.I., Kanki, J.P., Look, A.T. Blood (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. The zebrafish spi1 promoter drives myeloid-specific expression in stable transgenic fish. Ward, A.C., McPhee, D.O., Condron, M.M., Varma, S., Cody, S.H., Onnebo, S.M., Paw, B.H., Zon, L.I., Lieschke, G.J. Blood (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Specification of the primitive myeloid precursor pool requires signaling through Alk8 in zebrafish. Hogan, B.M., Layton, J.E., Pyati, U.J., Nutt, S.L., Hayman, J.W., Varma, S., Heath, J.K., Kimelman, D., Lieschke, G.J. Curr. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. Zebrafish SPI-1 (PU.1) marks a site of myeloid development independent of primitive erythropoiesis: implications for axial patterning. Lieschke, G.J., Oates, A.C., Paw, B.H., Thompson, M.A., Hall, N.E., Ward, A.C., Ho, R.K., Zon, L.I., Layton, J.E. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Runx3 is required for hematopoietic development in zebrafish. Kalev-Zylinska, M.L., Horsfield, J.A., Flores, M.V., Postlethwait, J.H., Chau, J.Y., Cattin, P.M., Vitas, M.R., Crosier, P.S., Crosier, K.E. Dev. Dyn. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Interplay of pu.1 and gata1 determines myelo-erythroid progenitor cell fate in zebrafish. Rhodes, J., Hagen, A., Hsu, K., Deng, M., Liu, T.X., Look, A.T., Kanki, J.P. Dev. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
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