Haematopoiesis is a carefully controlled process that is regulated by complex networks of transcription factors that are, in part, controlled by signals resulting from ligand binding to cell surface receptors. In order to further understand haematopoiesis, we have compared gene expression profiles of human erythroblasts, megakaryocytes, B-cells, cytotoxic and helper T-cells, Natural Killer cells, granulocytes and monocytes using whole genome microarrays. A bioinformatics analysis of this data was performed focusing on transcription factors, immunoglobulin superfamily members and lineage specific transcripts. We observed that the numbers of lineage specific genes varies by two orders of magnitude, ranging from five for cytotoxic T cells to 878 for granulocytes. In addition, we have identified novel co-expression patterns for key transcription factors involved in haematopoiesis (eg. GATA3–GFI1 and GATA2–KLF1). This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of gene expression in haematopoietic cells to date and has identified genes that play key roles in lineage commitment and cell function. The data, which is freely accessible, will be invaluable for future studies on haematopoiesis and the role of specific genes and will also aid the understanding of the recent genome-wide association studies.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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