Gene Ontology-driven transcriptional analysis of CD34+ cell-initiated megakaryocytic cultures identifies new transcriptional regulators of megakaryopoiesis

Peter G. Fuhrken, Chi Chen, Pani A. Apostolidis, Min Wang, William M. Miller, Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is an intricate process controlled in large part at the level of transcription. While some key megakaryocytic transcription factors have been identified, the complete network of megakaryocytic transcriptional control is poorly understood. Using global gene expression microarray analysis, Gene Ontology-based functional annotations, and a novel interlineage comparison with parallel, isogenic granulocytic cultures as a negative control, we closely examined the mRNA level of transcriptional regulators in megakaryocytes derived from human mobilized peripheral blood CD34+ hematopoietic cells. This approach identified 199 differentially expressed transcription factors or transcriptional regulators. We identified and detailed the transcriptional kinetics of most known megakaryocytic transcription factors including GATA1, FLI1, and MAFG. Furthermore, many genes with transcription factor activity or transcription factor binding activity were identified in megakaryocytes that had not previously been associated with that lineage, including BTEB1, NR4A2, FOXO1A, MEF2C, HDAC5, VDR, and several genes associated with the tumor suppressor p53 (HIPK2, FHL2, and TADA3L). Protein expression and nuclear localization were confirmed in megakaryocytic cells for four of the novel candidate megakaryocytic transcription factors: FHL2, MXD1, E2F3, and RFX5. In light of the hypothesis that transcription factors expressed in a particular differentiation program are important contributors to such a program, these data substantially expand our understanding of transcriptional regulation in megakaryocytic differentiation of stem and progenitor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 22 2008


  • Gene expression
  • Megakaryocytopoiesis
  • Thrombopoiesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics

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