GATA2 regulates Wnt signaling to promote primitive red blood cell fate

Mizuho S. Mimoto, Sunjong Kwon, Yangsook Song Green, Devorah Goldman, Jan L. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Primitive erythropoiesis is regulated in a non cell-autonomous fashion across evolution from frogs to mammals. In Xenopus laevis, signals from the overlying ectoderm are required to induce the mesoderm to adopt an erythroid fate. Previous studies in our lab identified the transcription factor GATA2 as a key regulator of this ectodermal signal. To identify GATA2 target genes in the ectoderm required for red blood cell formation in the mesoderm, we used microarray analysis to compare gene expression in ectoderm from GATA2 depleted and wild type embryos. Our analysis identified components of the non-canonical and canonical Wnt pathways as being reciprocally up- and down-regulated downstream of GATA2 in both mesoderm and ectoderm. We show that up-regulation of canonical Wnt signaling during gastrulation blocks commitment to a hematopoietic fate while down-regulation of non-canonical Wnt signaling impairs erythroid differentiation. Our results are consistent with a model in which GATA2 contributes to inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling, thereby permitting progenitors to exit the cell cycle and commit to a hematopoietic fate. Subsequently, activation of non-canonical Wnt signaling plays a later role in enabling these progenitors to differentiate as mature red blood cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • GATA2
  • Non cell-autonomous signals
  • Primitive hematopoiesis
  • Wnt
  • Xenopus laevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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