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The mouse Klf1 Nan variant impairs nuclear condensation and erythroid maturation

By Ileana Cantú, Harmen J.G. van de Werken, Nynke Gillemans, Ralph Stadhouders, Steven Heshusius, Alex Maas, Zeliha Ozgur, Wilfred F.J. van IJcken, Frank Grosveld, Marieke von Lindern, Sjaak Philipsen, Thamar B. van Dijk

Posted 22 Nov 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/477059 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208659)

Krüppel-like factor 1 (KLF1) is an essential transcription factor for erythroid development, as demonstrated by Klf1 knockout mice which die around E14 due to severe anemia. In humans, >65 KLF1 variants, causing different erythroid phenotypes, have been described. The Klf1 Nan variant, a single amino acid substitution (p.E339D) in the DNA binding domain, causes hemolytic anemia and is dominant over wildtype KLF1. Here we describe the effects of the Nan variant during fetal development. We show that Nan embryos have defects in erythroid maturation. RNA-sequencing of the Nan fetal liver cells revealed that Exportin 7 (Xpo7) was among the ~780 deregulated genes. This nuclear exportin is implicated in terminal erythroid differentiation; in particular it is involved in nuclear condensation. Indeed, KLF1 Nan fetal liver cells had larger nuclei and reduced chromatin condensation. Knockdown of XPO7 in wildtype erythroid cells caused a similar phenotype. We conclude that reduced expression of XPO7 is partially responsible for the erythroid defects observed in Nan erythroid cells.

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