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

Juxtaposition of the HPFH2 enhancer is not sufficient to reactivate the gamma-globin gene in adult erythropoiesis.

Previous studies have suggested that juxtaposition of a downstream enhancer to the fetal gamma-globin gene results in reactivation of the gamma-gene in adult erythrocytes of individuals with hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH). To test the hypothesis in a much stricter basis, we produced beta locus YAC transgenic mice carrying an exact beta locus replicate of a deletional HPFH mutation, HPFH 2. Although the gamma-globin gene was expressed in the HPFH 2/beta locus YAC (HPFH2/YAC) transgenic mice in the early stage of development, it was completely silenced in the adult mice. The failure of gamma-gene reactivation by the juxtaposed HPFH2 enhancer contradicts the results of previous studies. We speculate that the discrepant results reflect differences in the distance between the locus of region ( LCR) and the gamma-globin gene characteristic of the plasmid, cosmid or YAC constructs used for production of transgenic mice. The difference in the phenotype of the HPFH2/YAC transgenic mice and the humans with HPFH2 mutation suggests that in addition to juxtaposition of HPFH enhancers, the upstream region that is absent in the beta-YAC construct might be involved in gamma-gene reactivation in HPFH individuals. The DNase I hypersensitive sites of the LCR were well formed and the chromatin histones were acetylated. A moderate level of pol II binding was detected in the LCR, despite the fact that no transcription occurred in the globin-genes of the adult HPFH2/YAC transgenic mice. The results suggest that formation of the LCR chromatin structure in erythroid cells is independent of globin-gene transcription in the locus.[1]


  1. Juxtaposition of the HPFH2 enhancer is not sufficient to reactivate the gamma-globin gene in adult erythropoiesis. Xiang, P., Han, H., Barkess, G., Olave, I., Fang, X., Yin, W., Stamatoyannopoulos, G., Li, Q. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
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