ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-010423-4
A novel myeloid-restricted zebrafish CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein with a potent transcriptional activation domain
Lyons, S.E., Shue, B.C., Oates, A.C., Zon, L.I., and Liu, P.P.
The CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) family consists of transcription factors essential for hematopoiesis. The defining feature of the C/EBPs is a highly conserved carboxy-terminal bZIP domain that is necessary and sufficient for dimerization and DNA binding, whereas their amino-terminal domains are unique. This study reports a novel c/ebp gene (c/ebp1) from zebrafish that encodes a protein homologous to mammalian C/EBPs within the bZIP domain, but with an amino terminus lacking homology to any C/EBP or to any known sequence. In zebrafish embryos, c/ebp1 expression was initially observed in cells within the yolk sac circulation valley at approximately the 16-to 18-somite stage, and at 24 hours postfertilization (hpf), also in circulating cells. Most c/ebp1(+) cells also expressed a known early macrophage marker, leukocyte-specific plastin (l-plastin). Expression of both markers was lost in cloche, a mutant affecting hematopoiesis at the level of the hemangioblast. Expression of both markers was retained in m683 and spadetail, mutants affecting erythropoiesis, but not myelopoiesis. Further, c/ebp1 expression was lost in a mutant with defective myelopoiesis, but intact erythropoiesis. These data suggest that c/ebp1 is expressed exclusively in myeloid cells. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, c/ebp1 was able to bind a C/EBP consensus DNA site. Further, a chimeric protein containing the amino-terminal domain of c/ebp1 fused to the DNA-binding domain of GAL4 induced a GAL4 reporter 4000-fold in NIH3T3 cells. These results suggest that c/ebp1 is a novel member of the C/EBP family that may function as a potent transcriptional activator in myeloid cells.