GATA-1 protein is thought to be a positive regulator of erythroid differentiation. However, ectopic expression of a conditional GATA- 2/estrogen receptor chimera was shown to inhibit erythroid differentiation in a hormone-dependent manner, suggesting the negative regulation of erythroid differentiation by GATA-2 protein. Accordingly, we reasoned that the quantitative balance of GATA-1 and GATA-2 protein might affect erythroid differentiation. In this report, we performed specific and quantitative measurements of GATA-1 and GATA-2 protein in a new erythroid cell line, SAM-1, after treatment with 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). On the basis of these measurements, we show that TPA-induced arrest of erythroid differentiation is coupled with the upregulation of GATA-2 protein, as well as the downregulation of GATA-1 protein. Our results suggest that it is the precise quantitative balance of GATA-1 and GATA-2 protein that regulates erythroid differentiation.