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Unsuspected role of the brain morphogenetic gene Otx1 in hematopoiesis.

Levantini E, Giorgetti A, Cerisoli F, Traggiai E, Guidi A, Martin R, Acampora D, Aplan PD, Keller G, Simeone A, Iscove NN, Hoang T, Magli MC

Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

Otx1 belongs to the paired class of homeobox genes and plays a pivotal role in brain development. Here, we show that Otx1 is expressed in hematopoietic pluripotent and erythroid progenitor cells. Moreover, bone marrow cells from mice lacking Otx1 exhibit a cell-autonomous impairment of the erythroid compartment. In agreement with these results, molecular analysis revealed decreased levels of erythroid genes that include the SCL and GATA-1 transcription factors. Accordingly, a gain of function of SCL rescues the erythroid deficiency in Otx1-/- mice. Taken together, our findings indicate a function for Otx1 in the regulation of blood cell production.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2003;100(18):10299-303.

Pubmed ID: 12934017

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