The Co-operation of RUNX1 with LDB1, CDK9 and BRD4 Drives Transcription Factor Complex Relocation During Haematopoietic Specification

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  • Centre for Clinical Research, University of Freiburg Medical School, Freiburg, Germany.


Haematopoietic cells arise from endothelial cells within the dorsal aorta of the embryo via a process called the endothelial-haematopoietic transition (EHT). This process crucially depends on the transcription factor RUNX1 which rapidly activates the expression of genes essential for haematopoietic development. Using an inducible version of RUNX1 in a mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation model we showed that prior to the EHT, haematopoietic genes are primed by the binding of the transcription factor FLI1. Once expressed, RUNX1 relocates FLI1 towards its binding sites. However, the nature of the transcription factor assemblies recruited by RUNX1 to reshape the chromatin landscape and initiate mRNA synthesis are unclear. Here, we performed genome-wide analyses of RUNX1-dependent binding of factors associated with transcription elongation to address this question. We demonstrate that RUNX1 induction moves FLI1 from distal ETS/GATA sites to RUNX1/ETS sites and recruits the basal transcription factors CDK9, BRD4, the Mediator complex and the looping factor LDB1. Our study explains how the expression of a single transcription factor can drive rapid and replication independent transitions in cellular shape which are widely observed in development and disease.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10410
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018