GATA2 is an essential transcription factor that regulates multiple aspects of hematopoiesis. Mutations in GATA2 are associated with blast crisis phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) while overexpression of GATA2 is a hallmark of Down syndrome acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (DS-AMKL), a malignancy that is defined by the combination of trisomic chromosome 21 and a GATA1 mutation. Here, we show thatGATA2 is essential for megakaryocyte development from both wild-type and GATA-1mutant hematopoietic progenitors. Furthermore, we reveal that GATA2 is indispensable for cell cycle progression and that its expression cooperates with activated JAK3 to promote TPO-independent expansion of megakaryocytes. Genome-wide microarray analysis revealed that GATA2 regulates a wide set of genes including cell cycle regulators and lineage-specific genes that are essential for terminal differentiation of megakaryocytes. Of note, a subset of genes within the GATA2 signature is contained within human DS-AMKL patient specimens. These observations implicate overexpression of GATA2 in the aberrant gene expression and proliferation of AMKL. Taken together, our data demonstrate thatGATA2 is a critical regulator of normal and malignant megakaryopoiesis.

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