Haploinsufficiency for GATA2 causes human immunodeficiency syndromes characterized by mycobacterial infection, myelodysplasia, lymphedema, or aplastic anemia that progress to myeloid leukemia. GATA2 encodes a master regulator of hematopoiesis that is also linked to endothelial biology. Though the disease-causing mutations commonly occur in the GATA-2 DNA binding domain, we identified a patient with mycobacterial infection and myelodysplasia who had an uncharacterized heterozygous deletion in a GATA2cis-element consisting of an E-box and a GATA motif. Targeted deletion of the equivalent murine element to yield homozygous mutant mice revealed embryonic lethality later than occurred with global Gata2 knockout, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell depletion, and impaired vascular integrity. Heterozygous mutant mice were viable, but embryos exhibited deficits in definitive, but not primitive, hematopoietic stem/progenitor activity and reduced expression of Gata2 and its target genes. Mechanistic analysis revealed disruption of the endothelial cell transcriptome and loss of vascular integrity. Thus, the composite element disrupted in a human immunodeficiency is essential for establishment of the murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell compartment in the fetal liver and for essential vascular processes.
Kirby D. Johnson, Amy P. Hsu, Myung-Jeom Ryu, Jinyong Wang, Xin Gao, Meghan E. Boyer, Yangang Liu, Youngsook Lee, Katherine R. Calvo, Sunduz Keles, Jing Zhang, Steven M. Holland, Emery H. Bresnick