Genes & development

Erythropoietin and IGF-1 signaling synchronize cell proliferation and maturation during erythropoiesis.

PMID 26680303


Tight coordination of cell proliferation and differentiation is central to red blood cell formation. Erythropoietin controls the proliferation and survival of red blood cell precursors, while variations in GATA-1/FOG-1 complex composition and concentrations drive their maturation. However, clear evidence of cross-talk between molecular pathways is lacking. Here, we show that erythropoietin activates AKT, which phosphorylates GATA-1 at Ser310, thereby increasing GATA-1 affinity for FOG-1. In turn, FOG-1 displaces pRb/E2F-2 from GATA-1, ultimately releasing free, proproliferative E2F-2. Mice bearing a Gata-1(S310A) mutation suffer from fatal anemia when a compensatory pathway for E2F-2 production involving insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling is simultaneously abolished. In the context of the GATA-1(V205G) mutation resulting in lethal anemia, we show that the Ser310 cannot be phosphorylated and that constitutive phosphorylation at this position restores partial erythroid differentiation. This study sheds light on the GATA-1 pathways that synchronize cell proliferation and differentiation for tissue homeostasis.