Human leukemia mutations corrupt but do not abrogate GATA-2 function

Koichi R. Katsumura, Charu Mehta, Kyle J. Hewitt, Alexandra A. Soukup, Isabela Fraga De Andrade, Erik A. Ranheim, Kirby D. Johnson, Emery H. Bresnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


By inducing the generation and function of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, the master regulator of hematopoiesis GATA- 2 controls the production of all blood cell types. Heterozygous GATA2 mutations cause immunodeficiency, myelodysplastic syndrome, and acute myeloid leukemia. GATA2 disease mutations commonly disrupt amino acid residues that mediate DNA binding or cis-elements within a vital GATA2 intronic enhancer, suggesting a haploinsufficiency mechanism of pathogenesis. Mutations also occur in GATA2 coding regions distinct from the DNA-binding carboxyl-terminal zinc finger (C-finger), including the aminoterminal zinc finger (N-finger), and N-finger function is not established. Whether distinct mutations differentially impact GATA-2 mechanisms is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that N-finger mutations decreased GATA-2 chromatin occupancy and attenuated target gene regulation. We developed a genetic complementation assay to quantify GATA-2 function in myeloid progenitor cells from Gata2 -77 enhancer-mutant mice. GATA-2 complementation increased erythroid and myeloid differentiation. While GATA-2 disease mutants were not competent to induce erythroid differentiation of Lin-Kit+ myeloid progenitors, unexpectedly, they promoted myeloid differentiation and proliferation. As the myelopoiesis-promoting activity of GATA-2 mutants exceeded that of GATA-2, GATA2 disease mutations are not strictly inhibitory. Thus, we propose that the haploinsufficiency paradigm does not fully explain GATA-2-linked pathogenesis, and an amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative defects instigated by GATA2 mutations underlies the complex phenotypes of GATA- 2-dependent pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E10109-E10118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 23 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • AML
  • GATA-2
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Leukemia
  • MDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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