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Divergent Hemogen genes of teleosts and mammals share conserved roles in erythropoiesis: analysis using transgenic and mutant zebrafish



Divergent Hemogen genes of teleosts and mammals share conserved roles in erythropoiesis: analysis using transgenic and mutant zebrafish



Biology Open 7(8)



Hemogen is a vertebrate transcription factor that performs important functions in erythropoiesis and testicular development and may contribute to neoplasia. Here we identify zebrafish Hemogen and show that it is considerably smaller (∼22 kDa) than its human ortholog (∼55 kDa), a striking difference that is explained by an underlying modular structure. We demonstrate that Hemogens are largely composed of 21-25 amino acid repeats, some of which may function as transactivation domains (TADs). Hemogen expression in embryonic and adult zebrafish is detected in hematopoietic, renal, neural and gonadal tissues. Using Tol2- and CRISPR/Cas9-generated transgenic zebrafish, we show that Hemogen expression is controlled by two Gata1-dependent regulatory sequences that act alone and together to control spatial and temporal expression during development. Partial depletion of Hemogen in embryos by morpholino knockdown reduces the number of erythrocytes in circulation. CRISPR/Cas9-generated zebrafish lines containing either a frameshift mutation or an in-frame deletion in a putative, C-terminal TAD display anemia and embryonic tail defects. This work expands our understanding of Hemogen and provides mutant zebrafish lines for future study of the mechanism of this important transcription factor.

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Accession: 058661233

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PMID: 30097520

DOI: 10.1242/bio.035576


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