GATA-1 genome-wide occupancy associates with distinct epigenetic profiles in mouse fetal liver erythropoiesis.
Papadopoulos GL., Karkoulia E., Tsamardinos I., Porcher C., Ragoussis J., Bungert J., Strouboulis J.
We report the genomic occupancy profiles of the key hematopoietic transcription factor GATA-1 in pro-erythroblasts and mature erythroid cells fractionated from day E12.5 mouse fetal liver cells. Integration of GATA-1 occupancy profiles with available genome-wide transcription factor and epigenetic profiles assayed in fetal liver cells enabled as to evaluate GATA-1 involvement in modulating local chromatin structure of target genes during erythroid differentiation. Our results suggest that GATA-1 associates preferentially with changes of specific epigenetic modifications, such as H4K16, H3K27 acetylation and H3K4 di-methylation. Furthermore, we used random forest (RF) non-linear regression to predict changes in the expression levels of GATA-1 target genes based on the genomic features available for pro-erythroblasts and mature fetal liver-derived erythroid cells. Remarkably, our prediction model explained a high proportion of 62% of variation in gene expression. Hierarchical clustering of the proximity values calculated by the RF model produced a clear separation of upregulated versus downregulated genes and a further separation of downregulated genes in two distinct groups. Thus, our study of GATA-1 genome-wide occupancy profiles in mouse primary erythroid cells and their integration with global epigenetic marks reveals three clusters of GATA-1 gene targets that are associated with specific epigenetic signatures and functional characteristics.