Zinc finger protein 521 antagonizes early B-cell factor 1 and modulates the B-lymphoid differentiation of primary hematopoietic progenitors
Volume 10, Issue 13
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July 1, 2011
Pages 2129 - 2139http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.10.13.16045
Authors: Tiziana Mega, Michela Lupia, Nicola Amodio, Sarah J. Horton, Maria Mesuraca, Daniela Pelaggi, Valter Agosti, Michele Grieco, Emanuela Chiarella, Raffaella Spina, Malcolm A.S. Moore, Jan Jacob Schuringa, Heather M. Bond and Giovanni Morrone View affiliations
Zinc finger protein 521 (EHZF/ZNF521) is a multi-functional transcription co-factor containing 30 zinc fingers and an amino-terminal motif that binds to the nucleosome remodelling and histone deacetylase (NuRD) complex. ZNF521 is believed to be a relevant player in the regulation of the homeostasis of the hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell compartment, however the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. Here, we show that this protein plays an important role in the control of B-cell development by inhibiting the activity of early B-cell factor-1 (EBF1), a master factor in B-lineage specification. In particular, our data demonstrate that: (1) ZNF521 binds to EBF1 via its carboxyl-terminal portion and this interaction is required for EBF1 inhibition; (2) NuRD complex recruitment by ZNF521 is not essential for the inhibition of transactivation of EBF1-dependent promoters; (3) ZNF521 represses EBF1 target genes in a human B-lymphoid molecular context; and (4) RNAi-mediated silencing of ZNF521/Zfp521 in primary human and murine hematopoietic progenitors strongly enhances the generation of B-lymphocytes in vitro. Taken together, our data indicate that ZNF521 can antagonize B-cell development and lend support to the notion that it may contribute to conserve the multipotency of primitive lympho-myeloid progenitors by preventing or delaying their EBF1-driven commitment toward the B-cell lineage.