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TIAB (Title and Abstract)
Zebrafish mll gene is essential for hematopoiesis.
Studies implicate an important role for the mixed lineage leukemia (Mll) gene in hematopoiesis, mainly through maintaining Hox gene expression. However, the mechanisms underlying Mll-mediated hematopoiesis during embryogenesis remain largely unclear. Here, we investigate the role of mll during zebrafish embryogenesis, particularly hematopoiesis. Mll depletion caused severe defects in hematopoiesis as indicated by a lack of blood flow and mature blood cells as well as a significant reduction in expression of hematopoietic progenitor and mature blood cell markers. Furthermore, mll depletion prevented the differentiation of hematopoietic progenitors. In addition, we identified the N-terminal mini-peptide of Mll that acted as a dominant negative form to disrupt normal function of mll during embryogenesis. As expected, mll knockdown altered the expression of a subset of Hox genes. However, overexpression of these down-regulated Hox genes only partially rescued the blood deficiency, suggesting that mll may target additional genes to regulate hematopoiesis. In the mll morphants, microarray analysis revealed a dramatic up-regulation of gadd45αa. Multiple assays indicate that mll inhibited gadd45αa expression and that overexpression of gadd45αa mRNA led to a phenotype similar to the one seen in the mll morphants. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that zebrafish mll plays essential roles in hematopoiesis and that gadd45αa may serve as a potential downstream target for mediating the function of mll in hematopoiesis.

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