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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thrombopoietin initiates demethylation-based transcription of GP6 during megakaryocyte differentiation.

Glycoprotein VI (GPVI) is an essential platelet receptor for collagens that is exclusively expressed in the megakaryocytic lineage. Transcription of the human gene GP6 is driven largely by GATA-binding protein 1 (GATA-1), specificity protein 1 (Sp1), and Friend leukemia integration 1 (Fli-1). In this report, we show that GPVI expression during megakaryocytic differentiation is dependent on cytosine-phosphate-guanosine (CpG) demethylation that can be initiated by thrombopoietin (TPO). Sodium bisulfite genomic sequencing established that a CpG-rich island within the GP6 promoter region is fully methylated at 10 CpG sites in GPVI-nonexpressive cell lines, such as UT-7/ EPO and C8161, but completely unmethylated in GPVI-expressive cell lines, including UT-7/TPO and CHRF288-11. To further confirm the relationship between CpG demethylation and expression of GPVI in primary cells, we treated human cord blood cells with TPO. The GP6 promoter is highly methylated in cord blood mononuclear cells (progenitors) but not in CD41+-enriched cells obtained after TPO differentiation. Furthermore, when UT-7/EPO-Mpl cells, which stably express human C-myeloproliferative leukemia virus ligand (c-Mpl), were treated with TPO, demethylation of the GP6 promoter was induced. In every case, demethylation of the GP6 promoter correlated with an increase in mRNA level. Thus, megakaryocyte-specific expression of the GP6 gene is regulated, in part, by CpG demethylation, which can be directly initiated by TPO.[1]


  1. Thrombopoietin initiates demethylation-based transcription of GP6 during megakaryocyte differentiation. Kanaji, S., Kanaji, T., Jacquelin, B., Chang, M., Nugent, D.J., Komatsu, N., Moroi, M., Izuhara, K., Kunicki, T.J. Blood (2005) [Pubmed]
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