GABP is an ets transcription factor that regulates genes that are required for innate immunity, including CD18 (β2 leukocyte integrin), lysozyme, and neutrophil elastase. GABP consists of two distinct and unrelated proteins. GABPα binds to DNA through its ets domain and recruits GABPβ, which contains the transactivation domain; together, they form a functional tetrameric transcription factor complex. We recently showed that GABP is required for entry into S phase of the cell cycle through its regulation of genes that are required for DNA synthesis and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (

Yang, et al.
Nature Cell Biol
). Furthermore, GABP is an essential component of a retinoic acid responsive myeloid enhanceosome (
Resendes and Rosmarin
Mol Cell Biol
). We cloned Gabpa (the gene that encodes mouse Gabpα) from a mouse genomic BAC library and prepared a targeting vector in which the ets domain is flanked by loxP recombination sites (floxed allele). Deletion of both floxed Gabpa alleles causes an early embryonic lethal defect. In order to define the role of Gabpα in myelopoiesis, we bred floxed Gabpa mice to mice that bear the Mx1-Cre transgene, which drives expression of Cre recombinase in response to injection of the synthetic polynucleotide, poly I-C. Deletion of Gabpa dramatically reduced granulocytes and monocytes in the peripheral blood, spleen, and bone marrow, but myeloid cells recovered within weeks. In vitro colony forming assays indicated that myeloid cells in these mice were derived only from Gabpa replete myeloid precursors (that failed to delete both Gabpa alleles), suggesting strong pressure to retain Gabpα in vivo. We used a novel competitive bone marrow transplantation approach to determine if Gabp is required for myeloid cell development in vivo. Sub-lethally irradiated wild-type recipient mice bearing leukocyte marker CD45.1 received equal proportions of bone marrow from wild type CD45.1 donor mice and floxed-Mx1-Cre donor mice that bear CD45.2. Both the CD45.2 (floxed-Mx1-Cre) and CD45.1 (wild type) bone marrow engrafted well. Mice were then injected with pI-pC to induce Cre-mediated deletion of floxed Gabpa. The mature myeloid and T cell compartments were derived almost entirely from wild type CD45.1 cells. This indicates that the proliferation and/or differentiation of myeloid and T cell lineages requires Gabp. In contrast, B cell development was not impaired. We conclude that Gabpa disruption causes a striking loss of myeloid cells in vivo and corroborates prior in vitro data that GABP plays a crucial role in proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.