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

Mouse microcytic anaemia caused by a defect in the gene encoding the globin enhancer-binding protein NF-E2.

The nuclear DNA-binding protein NF- E2 is thought to mediate the powerful erythroid enhancer activity of the alpha- and beta-globin locus control regions and participates in the control of genes encoding two enzymes of haem biosynthesis (porphobilinogen deaminase and ferrochelatase). The major component of NF-E2 is a 45K polypeptide (designated p45 NF- E2) that belongs to the basic region-leucine zipper family of transcription factors. This subunit of NF-E2 is specifically expressed in haematopoietic progenitor cells and differentiated cells of the erythroid, megakaryocyte and mast cell lineages. The gene encoding p45 NF- E2 (murine gene Nfe2) has been mapped to mouse chromosome 15 near the mutation microcytosis (mk). Homozygous mk mice have severe hypochromic microcytic anaemia as a result of decreased globin synthesis and defects in intestinal and erythroid iron absorption. Here we investigate whether the mk mutation lies within Nfe2 by characterizing the p45 NF- E2 gene and determining its DNA sequence in wild-type and mk alleles. The mk allele carries a missense mutation that causes substitution of valine by alanine at amino acid 173 of the p45 NF- E2 protein. Expression of p45 NF- E2 messenger RNA was detected in erythroid tissues of normal mice and in the duodenum of normal and severely anaemic beta-thalassaemic (Hbbd-th3/Hbbd-th3) mice. We propose that the mk mutation results in an impaired form of NF-E2 which fails to regulate both globin production and iron metabolism properly.[1]


  1. Mouse microcytic anaemia caused by a defect in the gene encoding the globin enhancer-binding protein NF-E2. Peters, L.L., Andrews, N.C., Eicher, E.M., Davidson, M.B., Orkin, S.H., Lux, S.E. Nature (1993) [Pubmed]
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