Extrinsic and intrinsic control by EKLF (KLF1) within a specialized erythroid niche

Li Xue, Mariann Galdass, Merlin Nithya Gnanapragasam, Deepa Manwani, James J. Bieker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The erythroblastic island provides an important nutritional and survival support niche forefficient erythropoietic differentiation. Islandintegrity is reliant on adhesive interactions between erythroid and macrophage cells. We show that erythroblastic islands can be formed from single progenitor cells present in differentiating embryoid bodies, and that these correspond to erythro-myeloid progenitors (EMPs) that first appear in the yolk sac of the early developing embryo. Erythroid Krü ppel-like factor (EKLF; KLF1), a crucial zinc finger transcription factor, is expressed in the EMPs, and plays an extrinsic role in erythroid maturation by being expressed in the supportive macrophage of the erythroblastic island and regulating relevant genes important for island integrity within these cells. Together with its well-established intrinsic contributions to erythropoiesis, EKLF thus plays a coordinating role between two different cell types whose interaction provides the optimal environment to generate a mature red blood cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2245-2254
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Erythroblastic island
  • Erythroid-myeloid progenitor
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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