Chromatin condensation during terminal erythropoiesis

Baobing Zhao, Jing Yang, Peng Ji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Mammalian terminal erythropoiesis involves gradual but dramatic chromatin condensation steps that are essential for cell differentiation. Chromatin and nuclear condensation is followed by a unique enucleation process, which is believed to liberate more spaces for hemoglobin enrichment and enable the generation of a physically flexible mature red blood cell. Although these processes have been known for decades, the mechanisms are still unclear. Our recent study reveals an unexpected nuclear opening formation during mouse terminal erythropoiesis that requires caspase- 3 activity. Major histones, except H2AZ, are partially released from the opening, which is important for chromatin condensation. Block of the nuclear opening through caspase inhibitor or knockdown of caspase-3 inhibits chromatin condensation and enucleation. We also demonstrate that nuclear opening and histone release are cell cycle regulated. These studies reveal a novel mechanism for chromatin condensation in mammalia terminal erythropoiesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 18 2016


  • Caspase-3
  • Chromatin condensation
  • Enucleation
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Histone release
  • Nuclear opening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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