University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology; Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

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Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Genetic Phenomena | Genetics


Major effectors of adult-stage fetal globin silencing include the transcription factors (TFs) BCL11A and ZBTB7A/LRF and the NuRD chromatin complex, although each has potential on-target liabilities for rational β-hemoglobinopathy therapeutic inhibition. Here through CRISPR screening we discover ZNF410 to be a novel fetal hemoglobin (HbF) repressing TF. ZNF410 does not bind directly to the γ-globin genes but rather its chromatin occupancy is solely concentrated at CHD4, encoding the NuRD nucleosome remodeler, itself required for HbF repression. CHD4 has two ZNF410-bound regulatory elements with 27 combined ZNF410 binding motifs constituting unparalleled genomic clusters. These elements completely account for ZNF410’s effects on γ-globin repression. Knockout of ZNF410 reduces CHD4 by 60%, enough to substantially de-repress HbF while avoiding the cellular toxicity of complete CHD4 loss. Mice with constitutive deficiency of the homolog Zfp410 are born at expected Mendelian ratios with unremarkable hematology. ZNF410 is dispensable for human hematopoietic engraftment potential and erythroid maturation unlike known HbF repressors. These studies identify a new rational target for HbF induction for the β-hemoglobin disorders with a wide therapeutic index. More broadly, ZNF410 represents a special class of gene regulator, a conserved transcription factor with singular devotion to regulation of a chromatin subcomplex.


Genetics, ZNF410, fetal globin

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bioRxiv 2020.08.31.272856; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.