Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

High-throughput transcription profiling identifies putative epigenetic regulators of hematopoiesis

  1. Punit Prasad1,
  2. Michelle Rönnerblad1,
  3. Erik Arner2,
  4. Masayoshi Itoh3,
  5. Hideya Kawaji4,
  6. Timo Lassmann3,
  7. Carsten O. Daub3,
  8. Alistair R. R. Forrest3,
  9. Andreas Lennartsson1,*, and
  10. Karl Ekwall1
  1. 1 Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Center for Biosciences, NOVUM, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden;
  2. 2 RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan;
  3. 3 RIKEN Omics Science Center, Yokohama Institute, Kanagawa, Japan;
  4. 4 RIKEN Preventive Medicine and Diagnosis Innovation Program, Wako, Saitama, Japan
  1. * Corresponding author; email: andreas.lennartsson{at}

Key points

  • Expression analysis of novel potential regulatory epigenetic factors in hematopoiesis.


Hematopoietic differentiation is governed by a complex regulatory program controlling the generation of different lineages of blood cells from multipotent hematopoietic stem cells. The transcriptional program that dictates hematopoietic cell fate and differentiation requires an epigenetic memory function provided by a network of epigenetic factors regulating DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, and chromatin structure. Aberrant interactions between epigenetic factors and transcription factors cause perturbations in the blood cell differentiation program that result in various types of hematopoietic disorders. To elucidate the contributions of different epigenetic factors in human hematopoiesis, high-throughput cap analysis of gene expression was used to build transcription profiles of 199 epigenetic factors in a wide range of blood cells. Our epigenetic transcriptome analysis revealed cell type– (eg, HELLS and ACTL6A), lineage- (eg, MLL), and/or leukemia- (eg, CHD2, CBX8, and EPC1) specific expression of several epigenetic factors. In addition, we show that several epigenetic factors use alternative transcription start sites in different cell types. This analysis could serve as a resource for the scientific community for further characterization of the role of these epigenetic factors in blood development.

  • Submitted February 7, 2013.
  • Accepted June 19, 2013.