Meng, A., Tang, H., Yuan, B.Z., Ong, B.A., Long, Q.M., and Lin, S. (1999) Positive and Negative Cis-Acting Elements Are Required for Hematopoietic Expression of Zebrafish GATA-1. Blood. 93(2):500-508.
GATA-1 is a transcription factor required for development of erythroid cells. The expression of GATA-1 is tightly restricted to the hematopoietic lineage. Using transgene constructs containing zebrafish GATA-1 genomic sequences and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene, we previously showed that a 5.6-kb enhancer/promoter fragment is sufficient to direct erythroid-specific expression of the GFP. In this study, we used enhancer/promoter fragments containing various deletion and point mutations to further characterize the cis-acting elements controlling tissue-specific GATA-1 expression. We report here the identification of distinct cis-acting elements that cooperate to confer on GATA-1 its hematopoietic expression pattern. A CACCC box, located 142 bp upstream of the translation start codon, is critical for the initiation of GATA-1 expression. A distal double GATA element is required for maintaining and enhancing the hematopoietic expression of GATA-1. The erythroid-specific activity of the GATA-1 promoter is also enhanced by a 49-bp sequence element located 218 bp upstream of the CACCC element and a CCAAT box adjacent to the double GATA motif. Finally, the hematopoietic specificity of the GATA-1 promoter is secured by a negative cis-acting element that inhibits expression in the notochord.