A RUNX–CBFβ-driven enhancer directs the Irf8 dose-dependent lineage choice between DCs and monocytes

Koichi Murakami, Haruka Sasaki, Akira Nishiyama, Daisuke Kurotaki, Wataru Kawase, Tatsuma Ban, Jun Nakabayashi, Satoko Kanzaki, Yoichi Sekita, Hideaki Nakajima, Keiko Ozato, Tohru Kimura, Tomohiko Tamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The transcription factor IRF8 is essential for the development of monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs), whereas it inhibits neutrophilic differentiation. It is unclear how Irf8 expression is regulated and how this single transcription factor supports the generation of both monocytes and DCs. Here, we identified a RUNX–CBFβ-driven enhancer 56 kb downstream of the Irf8 transcription start site. Deletion of this enhancer in vivo significantly decreased Irf8 expression throughout the myeloid lineage from the progenitor stages, thus resulting in loss of common DC progenitors and overproduction of Ly6C+ monocytes. We demonstrated that high, low or null expression of IRF8 in hematopoietic progenitor cells promotes differentiation toward type 1 conventional DCs, Ly6C+ monocytes or neutrophils, respectively, via epigenetic regulation of distinct sets of enhancers in cooperation with other transcription factors. Our results illustrate the mechanism through which IRF8 controls the lineage choice in a dose-dependent manner within the myeloid cell system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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