SZF1: A novel KRAB-zinc finger gene expressed in CD34+ stem/progenitor cells

Cheng Liu, Mark Levenstein, Joseph Chen, Elina Tsifrina, Raluc Yonescu, Constance Griffin, Curt I. Civin, Donald Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The identification and study of genes expressed in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells should further our understanding of hematopoiesis. Transcription factors in particular are likely to play important roles in maintaining the set of genes that define the stem/progenitor cell. We report here the identification of a putative KRAB-zinc finger gene (SZF1) from a cDNA library prepared from human bone marrow CD34+ cells. Characterization of SZF1 implicates its role in hematopoiesis. The predicted protein contains a highly conserved KRAB domain at the NH2 terminus and four zinc fingers of the C2H2 type at the COOH terminus. Two alternatively spliced products of SZF1 were isolated, which predict proteins of 421 (SZF1-1) and 361 (SZF1-2) amino acids, differing from each other only at the carboxy terminus. The two transcripts of SZFI have different expression patterns. SZF1-2 is ubiquitously expressed, as indicated by Northern blot, RNase protection, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. SZF1-1 expression, in contrast, was detected only in CD34+ cells. We recently isolated the promoter region for the stem/progenitor cell expressed FLT3/FLK-2/STK-1 gene and used this region to generate a reporter construct to test the effect of SZF1 expression. Cotransfection of the reporter construct with SZF1 constructs showed that SZF1-2 repressed transcription three- to fourfold, whereas SZF1-1 showed a lower level of repression. The expression pattern of SZF1 transcripts and the transcriptional repression of a CD34+-specific promoter demonstrate a possible role for SZF1 in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells
  • KRAB domain
  • Transcriptional repression
  • Zinc finger gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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