GATA1 is a master transcriptional regulator of the differentiation of several related myeloid blood cell types, including erythrocytes and megakaryocytes. Germ-line mutations that cause loss of full length GATA1, but allow for expression of the short isoform (GATA1s), are associated with defective erythropoiesis in a subset of patients with Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Despite extensive studies of GATA1s in megakaryopoiesis, the mechanism by which GATA1s fails to support normal erythropoiesis is not understood. In this study, we used global gene expression and chromatin occupancy analysis to compare the transcriptional activity of GATA1s to GATA 1. We discovered that compared to GATA1, GATA1s is less able to activate the erythroid gene expression program and terminal differentiation in cells with dual erythroid-megakaryocytic differentiation potential. Moreover, we found that GATA1s bound to many of its erythroid-specific target genes less efficiently than full length GATA 1. These results suggest that the impaired ability of GATA1s to promote erythropoiesis in DBA may be caused by failure to occupy erythroid-specific gene regulatory elements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas