Epigenetic silencing of the c-fms locus during B-lymphopoiesis occurs in discrete steps and is reversible

H Tagoh, A Schebesta, P Lefevre, N Wilson, D Hume, M Busslinger, Constanze Bonifer

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64 Citations (Scopus)


The murine c-fms (Csf1r) gene encodes the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, which is essential for macrophage development. It is expressed at a low level in haematopoietic stem cells and is switched off in all non-macrophage cell types. To examine the role of chromatin structure in this process we studied epigenetic silencing of c-fms during B-lymphopoiesis. c-fms chromatin in stem cells and multipotent progenitors is in the active conformation and bound by transcription factors. A similar result was obtained with specified common myeloid and lymphoid progenitor cells. In developing B cells, c-fms chromatin is silenced in distinct steps, whereby first the binding of transcription factors and RNA expression is lost, followed by a loss of nuclease accessibility. Interestingly, regions of de novo DNA methylation in B cells overlap with an intronic antisense transcription unit that is differently regulated during lymphopoiesis. However, even at mature B cell stages, c-fms chromatin is still in a poised conformation and c-fms expression can be re-activated by conditional deletion of the transcription factor Pax5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4275-85
Number of pages11
JournalThe EMBO journal
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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