Characterization and localization of expression of an erythropoietin-induced gene, ERIC-1/TACC3, identified in erythroid precursor cells


Terence R. J. Lappin, Department of Haematology, The Cancer Research Centre, The Queen's University of Belfast, Tower Block, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AB, Northern Ireland, UK. E-mail:


Gene expression profiles during erythropoietin (Epo)-induced differentiation of erythroid progenitor cells derived from the Friend virus anaemia (FVA) and phenylhydrazine (PHZ) murine models have been examined using differential display polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Ten cDNA fragments upregulated by Epo were isolated. The ribonuclease protection assay confirmed differential expression between Epo-stimulated and Epo-deprived cells for one of these, provisionally named ERIC-1. Sequencing of the full-length cDNA predicted a protein of 558 amino acids, 17 amino acids longer than mTACC3, the third member of a novel family of proteins that contain a coiled-coil domain. The human homologue, cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE)-PCR, encodes a larger protein of 838 amino acids that is identical to hTACC3. In addition to erythroid precursor cells, ERIC-1/TACC3 is expressed at high levels in the testes, at moderate levels in the thymus and peripheral leucocytes, and at lower levels in the spleen and intestinal tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis using an antibody to a GST fusion product of the C-terminus of hERIC-1/TACC3 revealed that it is localized to Sertoli cells in the human testes. Confocal microscopy demonstrated hERIC-1/TACC3 protein concentrated in the perinuclear vesicles of dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Although ERIC-1/TACC3 is expressed in a wide range of tissues, its upregulation by Epo in erythroid progenitors implies that it has a role in terminal erythropoiesis.