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The STAT5-GATA2 pathway is critical in basophil and mast cell differentiation and maintenance.

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) (2015-03-25)
Yapeng Li, Xiaopeng Qi, Bing Liu, Hua Huang

Transcription factor GATA binding protein 2 (GATA2) plays critical roles in hematopoietic stem cell survival and proliferation, granulocyte-monocyte progenitor differentiation, and basophil and mast cell differentiation. However, precise roles of GATA2 in basophil and mast cell differentiation and maintenance have not been delineated. We have identified GATA2 as an essential transcription factor in differentiation of newly identified common basophil and mast cell progenitors into basophils and mast cells. We observed Gata2 haploinsufficiency for mast cell differentiation, but not for basophil differentiation. We examined the precise role of GATA2 in maintaining the expression of a wide range of genes that are important for performing basophil or mast cell functions. The effects of GATA2 on gene expression were broadly based. We demonstrated that GATA2 was required for maintaining Fcer1a mRNA and FcεRIα protein expression on both basophils and mast cells, as well as for maintaining Kit mRNA and c-Kit protein expression on mast cells. GATA2 was required for histamine synthesis and was also critical for Il4 mRNA expression in basophils and Il13 mRNA expression in mast cells. We demonstrate a STAT5-GATA2 connection, showing that the STAT5 transcription factor directly bound to the promoter and an intronic region of the Gata2 gene. Overexpression of the Gata2 gene was sufficient to direct basophil and mast cell differentiation in the absence of the Stat5 gene. Our study reveals that the STAT5-GATA2 pathway is critical for basophil and mast cell differentiation and maintenance.

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