by Yoshiaki Okada, Haruaki Nobori, Mikiko Shimizu, Miho Watanabe, Masaaki Yonekura, Tomoko Nakai, Yuko Kamikawa, Atsuko Wakimura, Nobuaki Funahashi, Hiroki Naruse, Ayako Watanabe, Daisuke Yamasaki, So-ichiro Fukada, Kazuta Yasui, Kayoko Matsumoto, Takahiro Sato, Kenji Kitajima, Toru Nakano, William C. Aird, Takefumi Doi
In previous studies on the mechanism underlying megakaryocyte-specific gene expression, several ETS motifs were found in each megakaryocyte-specific gene promoter. Although these studies suggested that several ETS family proteins regulate megakaryocyte-specific gene expression, only a few ETS family proteins have been identified. Platelet factor 4 (PF4) is a megakaryocyte-specific gene and its promoter includes multiple ETS motifs. We had previously shown that ETS-1 binds to an ETS motif in the PF4 promoter. However, the functions of the other ETS motifs are still unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate a novel functional ETS motif in the PF4 promoter and identify proteins binding to the motif. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays and a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, FLI-1, ELF-1, and GABP bound to the -51 ETS site. Expression of FLI-1, ELF-1, and GABP activated the PF4 promoter in HepG2 cells. Mutation of a -51 ETS site attenuated FLI-1-, ELF-1-, and GABP-mediated transactivation of the promoter. siRNA analysis demonstrated that FLI-1, ELF-1, and GABP regulate PF4 gene expression in HEL cells. Among these three proteins, only FLI-1 synergistically activated the promoter with GATA-1. In addition, only FLI-1 expression was increased during megakaryocytic differentiation. Finally, the importance of the -51 ETS site for the activation of the PF4 promoter during physiological megakaryocytic differentiation was confirmed by a novel reporter gene assay using in vitro ES cell differentiation system. Together, these data suggest that FLI-1, ELF-1, and GABP regulate PF4 gene expression through the -51 ETS site in megakaryocytes and implicate the differentiation stage-specific regulation of PF4 gene expression by multiple ETS factors.