The Ikaros gene is alternately spliced to generate multiple DNA-binding and nonbinding isoforms that have been implicated as regulators of hematopoiesis, particularly in the lymphoid lineages. Although early reports of Ikaros mutant mice focused on lymphoid defects, these mice also show significant myeloid, erythroid, and stem cell defects. However, the specific Ikaros proteins expressed in these cells have not been determined. We recently described Ikaros-x (Ikx), a new Ikaros isoform that is the pre-dominant Ikaros protein in normal human hematopoietic cells. In this study, we report that the Ikx protein is selectively expressed in human myeloid lineage cells, while Ik1 predominates in the lymphoid and erythroid lineages. Both Ik1 and Ikx proteins are expressed in early human hematopoietic cells (Lin-CD34+). Under culture conditions that promote specific lineage differentiation, Ikx is up-regulated during myeloid differentiation but down-regulated during lymphoid differentiation from human Lin-CD34+ cells. We show that Ikx and other novel Ikaros splice variants identified in human studies are also expressed in murine bone marrow. In mice, as in humans, the Ikx protein is selectively expressed in the myeloid lineage. Our studies suggest that Ikaros proteins function in myeloid, as well as lymphoid, differentiation and that specific Ikaros isoforms may play a role in regulating lineage commitment decisions in mice and humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy