Smith EC, Luc S, Croney DM, Woodworth MB, Greig LC, Fujiwara Y, Nguyen M, Sher F, Macklis JD, Bauer DE, Orkin SH. 2016. Strict in vivo specificity of the erythroid enhancer. Blood. 128(19):2338-2342. Pubmed: 27707736 DOI:10.1182/blood-2016-08-736249


BCL11A, a repressor of human fetal (γ-)globin expression, is required for immune and hematopoietic stem cell functions and brain development. Regulatory sequences within the gene, which are subject to genetic variation affecting fetal globin expression, display hallmarks of an erythroid enhancer in cell lines and transgenic mice. As such, this enhancer is a novel, attractive target for therapeutic gene editing. To explore the roles of such sequences in vivo, we generated mice in which the orthologous 10-kb intronic sequences were removed. enhancer-deleted mice, (Δenh), phenocopy the BCL11A-null state with respect to alterations of globin expression, yet are viable and exhibit no observable blood, brain, or other abnormalities. These preclinical findings provide strong in vivo support for genetic modification of the enhancer for therapy of hemoglobin disorders.
© 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

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Photo of Jeffrey D. Macklis

Jeffrey Macklis investigates molecular controls and mechanisms over neuron subtype specification, development, diversity, axon guidance-circuit formation, and pathology in the cerebral cortex. His lab seeks to apply developmental controls toward brain and spinal cord regeneration and directed differentiation for in vitro mechanistic modeling using human assembloids.

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