The murine Cebpa gene contains an evolutionarily conserved 453 bp enhancer located at +37 kb that, together with its promoter, directs expression to myeloid progenitors and to long-term hematopoietic stem cells in transgenic mice. In human acute myeloid leukemia cases, the enhancer lacks point mutations but binds the RUNX1-ETO oncoprotein. The enhancer contains the H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac histone modifications, denoting an active enhancer, at progressively increasing levels as long-term hematopoietic stem cells transition to granulocyte-monocyte progenitors. We previously identified four enhancer sites that bind RUNX1 and demonstrated that their integrity is required for maximal enhancer activity in 32Dcl3 myeloid cells. The +37 kb Cebpa enhancer also contains C/EBP, Ets factor, Myb, GATA, and E-box consensus sites conserved in the human +42 kb CEBPA enhancer. Mutation of the two C/EBP, seven Ets, one Myb, two GATA, or two E-box sites reduces activity of an enhancer-promoter reporter in 32Dcl3 cells. In 293T gel shift assays, exogenous C/EBPα binds both C/EBP sites, c-Myb binds the Myb site, PU.1 binds the second Ets site, PU.1, Fli-1, ERG, and Ets1 bind the sixth Ets site, GATA2 binds both GATA sites, and SCL binds the second E-box. Endogenous hematopoietic RUNX1, PU.1, Fli-1, ERG, C/EBPα, GATA2, and SCL were previously shown to bind the enhancer, and we find that endogenous PU.1 binds the second Ets site in 32Dcl3 cells. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we developed 32Dcl3 lines in which the wild-type enhancer alleles are replaced with a variant mutant in the seven Ets sites. These lines have 20-fold reduced Cebpa mRNA when cultured in IL-3 or G-CSF, demonstrating a critical requirement for enhancer integrity for optimal Cebpa expression. In addition, these results indicate that the +37 kb Cebpa enhancer is the focus of multiple regulatory transcriptional pathways that impact its expression during normal hematopoiesis and potentially during myeloid transformation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)