Blood Journal
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The multifunctional role of EKLF/KLF1 during erythropoiesis

  1. Miroslawa Siatecka1 and
  2. James J. Bieker13
  1. 1Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology,
  2. 2Black Family Stem Cell Institute, and
  3. 3Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY


The cellular events that lead to terminal erythroid differentiation rely on the controlled interplay of extra- and intracellular regulatory factors. Their downstream effects are highly coordinated and result in the structural/morphologic and metabolic changes that uniquely characterize a maturing red blood cell. Erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF/KLF1) is one of a very small number of intrinsic transcription factors that play a major role in regulating these events. This review covers 3 major aspects of erythropoiesis in which EKLF plays crucial functions: (1) at the megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitor stage, where it is involved in erythroid lineage commitment; (2) during the global expansion of erythroid gene expression in primitive and definitive lineages, where it plays a direct role in globin switching; and (3) during the terminal maturation of red cells, where it helps control exit from the cell cycle. We conclude by describing recent studies of mammalian EKLF/KLF1 mutations that lead to altered red cell phenotypes and disease.

  • Submitted March 10, 2011.
  • Accepted May 10, 2011.
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