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    Gray platelet syndrome is named after the gray appearance of platelets due to the absence of α-granules. It is caused by recessive mutations in NBEAL2, resulting in macrothrombocytopenia and myelofibrosis. Though using the term gray platelets for GATA1 deficiency has been debated, a reduced number of α-granules has been described for macrothrombocytopenia due to GATA1 mutations. We compared platelet size and number of α-granules for two NBEAL2 and two GATA1-deficient patients and found reduced numbers of α-granules for all, with the defect being more pronounced for NBEAL2 deficiency. We further hypothesized that the granule defect for GATA1 is due to a defective control of NBEAL2 expression. Remarkably, platelets from two patients, and Gata1-deficient mice, expressed almost no NBEAL2. The differentiation of GATA1 patient-derived CD34+ stem cells to megakaryocytes showed defective proplatelet and α-granule formation with strongly reduced NBEAL2 protein and ribonucleic acid expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing revealed 5 GATA binding sites in a regulatory region 31 kb upstream of NBEAL2 covered by a H3K4Me1 mark indicative of an enhancer locus. Luciferase reporter constructs containing this region confirmed its enhancer activity in K562 cells, and mutagenesis of the GATA1 binding sites resulted in significantly reduced enhancer activity. Moreover, DNA binding studies showed that GATA1 and GATA2 physically interact with this enhancer region. GATA1 depletion using small interfering ribonucleic acid in K562 cells also resulted in reduced NBEAL2 expression. In conclusion, we herein show a long-distance regulatory region with GATA1 binding sites as being a strong enhancer for NBEAL2 expression. Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.


    Anouck Wijgaerts, Christine Wittevrongel, Chantal Thys, Timothy Devos, Kathelijne Peerlinck, Marloes R Tijssen, Chris Van Geet, Kathleen Freson. The transcription factor GATA1 regulates NBEAL2 expression through a long-distance enhancer. Haematologica. 2017 Apr;102(4):695-706

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    PMID: 28082341

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