Cis-element encyclopedias provide information on phenotypic diversity and disease mechanisms. Although ciselement polymorphisms and mutations are instructive, deciphering function remains challenging. Mutation of an intronic GATA motif (+9.5) in GATA2, encoding a master regulator of hematopoiesis, underlies an immunodeficiency associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Whereas an inversion relocalizes another GATA2 cis-element (-77) to the proto-oncogene EVI1, inducing EVI1 expression and AML, whether this reflects ectopic or physiological activity is unknown. We describe a mouse strain that decouples -77 function from proto-oncogene deregulation. The -77-/- mice exhibited a novel phenotypic constellation including late embryonic lethality and anemia. The -77 established a vital sector of the myeloid progenitor transcriptome, conferring multipotentiality. Unlike the +9.5-/- embryos, hematopoietic stem cell genesis was unaffected in -77-/- embryos. These results illustrate a paradigm in which cis-elements in a locus differentially control stem and progenitor cell transitions, and therefore the individual cis-element alterations cause unique and overlapping disease phenotypes.
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