Expression of the gene for the macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (CSF-1R), c-fms, has been viewed as a hallmark of the commitment of multipotent precursor cells to macrophages. Lineage-restricted expression of the gene is controlled by conserved elements in the proximal promoter and within the first intron. To investigate the developmental regulation of c-fms at the level of chromatin structure, we developed an in vitro system to examine the maturation of multipotent myeloid precursor cells into mature macrophages. The dynamics of chromatin fine structure alterations and transcription factor occupancy at the c-fms promoter and intronic enhancer was examined by in vivo DMS and UV-footprinting. We show that the c-fms gene is already transcribed at low levels in early myeloid precursors on which no CSF-1R surface expression can be detected. At this stage of myelopoiesis, the formation of transcription factor complexes on the promoter was complete. By contrast, occupancy of the enhancer was acutely regulated during macrophage differentiation. Our data show that cell-intrinsic differentiation decisions at the c-fms locus precede the appearance of c-fms on the cell surface. They also suggest that complex lineage-specific enhancers such as the c-fms intronic enhancer regulate local chromatin structure through the coordinated assembly and disassembly of distinct transcription factor complexes.
|Journal||Genes & Development|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2002|
- transcription factor
- murine c-fms
- myeloid precursor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)