PLZF is a regulator of homeostatic and cytokine-induced myeloid development

Sergei Doulatov, Faiyaz Notta, Kim L. Rice, Louise Howell, Arthur Zelent, Jonathan D. Licht, John E. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


A major question in hematopoiesis is how the system maintains long-term homeostasis whereby the generation of large numbers of differentiated cells is balanced with the requirement for maintenance of progenitor pools, while remaining sufficiently flexible to respond to periods of perturbed cellular output during infection or stress. We focused on the development of the myeloid lineage and present evidence that promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) provides a novel function that is critical for both normal and stress-induced myelopoiesis. During homeostasis, PLZF restricts proliferation and differentiation of human cord blood-derived myeloid progenitors to maintain a balance between the progenitor and mature cell compartments. Analysis of PLZF promoter-binding sites revealed that it represses transcription factors involved in normal myeloid differentiation, including GFI-1, C/EBPa, and LEF-1, and induces negative regulators DUSP6 and ID2. Loss of ID2 relieves PLZF-mediated repression of differentiation identifying it as a functional target of PLZF in myelopoiesis. Furthermore, induction of ERK1/2 by myeloid cytokines, reflective of a stress response, leads to nuclear export and inactivation of PLZF, which augments mature cell production. Thus, negative regulators of differentiation can serve to maintain developmental systems in a primed state, so that their inactivation by extrinsic signals can induce proliferation and differentiation to rapidly satisfy increased demand for mature cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2076-2087
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Human hematopoiesis
  • Lineage determination
  • Myeloid differentiation
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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