N-terminal region of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ε is critical for cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and functional maturation during myeloid differentiation

Hideaki Nakajima, Naohide Watanabe, Fumi Shibata, Toshio Kitamura, Yasuo Ikeda, Makoto Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ε (C/EBPε) plays a critical role in terminal myeloid differentiation. Differentiation is an integrated process of cell cycle arrest, morphological change, functional maturation, and apoptosis. However, the molecular networks underlying these events in C/EBPε-induced differentiation remain poorly understood. To reveal these mechanisms, we performed a detailed molecular analysis of C/EBPε-induced differentiation using an inducible form of C/EBPε. The activation of C/EBPε induced growth arrest, morphological differentiation, the expression of CD11b and secondary granule proteins, and apoptosis in myeloid cell lines. Unlike C/EBPα, C/EBPε dramatically up-regulated p27 with a concomitant down-regulation of cdk4/6 and cyclin D2/A/E. Moreover, the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-x were down-regulated, whereas pro-apoptotic protein Bax remained unchanged. Using a variety of mutants, we revealed that these events were all regulated by the N-terminal activation domain of C/EBPε. Interestingly, some of the differentiation processes such as the induction of secondary granule protein genes were clearly inhibited by c-Myc; however, inhibition of apoptosis by Bcl-x did not affect the entire differentiation processes. These data indicate the N terminus of C/EBPε to be solely responsible for most aspects of myeloid differentiation, and these events were differentially affected by c-Myc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14494-14502
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 19


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this