Erythropoiesis, the development of red blood cells (erythrocytes), requires precise control of erythroid specific gene expression by several intensely studied transcription factors. Among this set of transcription factors is the zinc ‐ finger transcription factor KLF1 (for Kruppel ‐ like factor 1, formerly known as EKLF), a protein that is absolutely necessary for the formation of mature erythrocytes. Studies of KLF1 by a number of in vitro techniques have provided significant insights into its function and the process of erythropoiesis in general.
More recently, we and others have taken advantage of next ‐ gen DNA sequencing (NGS) to study KLF1 function genome ‐ wide by chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP ‐ seq) and expression profiling (mRNA ‐ seq). I will discuss our journey with ChIP ‐ seq and mRNA ‐ seq and how this has led us to a deeper understanding of how KLF1 orchestrates the differentiation or red blood cells.