Loss-of-function mutations in Ten-Eleven-Translocation 2 (TET2) gene have been identified in various human myeloid and lymphoid malignancies. Recently, the TET gene family (TET1, TET2, and TET3) was found to function as DNA methylcytosine dioxygenase that is able to oxidize 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC). In Tet2-deficient mouse models, Tet2 has been shown to play an important role in regulating self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. These Tet2-deficient mice would gradually develop a chronic myeloid neoplasm resembling human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia suggesting that TET2 may function as a tumor suppressor. In the present study, we investigated the role of tet2 in zebrafish early hematopoiesis. During zebrafish early development, the expression of tet1, tet2, and tet3 by qRT-PCR can be detected mainly after the segmentation stage (26-somite), with fluctuated expression levels thereafter. Whole-mount in situ hybridization revealed that tet2 expression was strong over aorta-gonad-mesonephros region at 48 hours post-fertilization (hpf). Morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) knock-down of tet2 increased the expression of tet1, tet3, dnmt3aa, gata-1, alpha-Hb and fli1a (48 hpf) as well as rag2 and lck (4 days post-fertilization), and the expression of spi1b and mpo decreased (48 hpf). The expression of primitive hematopoietic stem cell markers scl and lmo2, as well as dnmt3ab, beta-Hb, l-plastin, and rag1 were unaffected. The levels of 5-mC and 5-hmC measured by ELISA were also decreased after MO knock-down of tet2. The number of gata-1 expressing red blood cells increased after tet2 MO knock-down as evaluated by flow-cytometry indicating that tet2 deficiency increased erythropoiesis. These preliminary results suggest that tet2 might play a role in the epigenetic regulation of zebrafish early hematopoiesis including erythropoiesis. Recently, transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) has been shown to generate targeted genomic editing in zebrafish. To validate our observation, we therefore utilized customized TALENs pair to generate tet2 knock-out zebrafish animal model. We designed a pair of TALENs targeting first exon of tet2 and our tet2 TALENs were able to generate insertion and/or deletion in targeted region of tet2 exon 1 in 25% to 44% zebrafish embryos. We obtained a total of fifteen different tet2 mutation genotypes F1 fish, and seven of them were predicted to cause early termination of transcription. The in-cross of these F1 genotypes matched the Mendelian inheritance. The tet2-/- knock-out F2 zebrafish is not embryonic lethal and can grow to sexually mature adult fish. The detailed analysis of tet2-/- knock-out zebrafish early hematopoiesis will be presented at the meeting.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.