Derangements of GATA-2 expression could underlie any of a wide range of human conditions. The researchers note that developmental abnormalities of the genitourinary system are estimated to affect 10 percent of the population, accounting for one-third of all congenital malformations and 40 percent of kidney diseases.
The researchers also note that the general approach of trying to replace a missing function in mice that have had a gene knocked out may reveal unknown functions of that gene at later developmental stages.
Other authors on the EMBO Journal paper include graduate student Yinghui Zhou and postdoctoral fellows Kim-Chew Lim and Ko Onodera, all of Northwestern; Stuart H. Orkin, Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatric Medicine, and postdoctoral researcher Fong-Ying Tsai of Harvard Medical School; and Masayuki Yamamoto, professor of molecular and developmental biology, and postdoctoral researchers Satoru Takahashi, Naoko Minegishi and Jun Ohta of the University of Tsukuba.
The research was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health.