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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9496058, 6 pages
Research Article

SOX6 Downregulation Induces γ-Globin in Human β-Thalassemia Major Erythroid Cells

Department of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yongrong Lai

Received 2 June 2017; Revised 30 October 2017; Accepted 2 November 2017; Published 28 November 2017

Academic Editor: Wen-Hwa Lee

Copyright © 2017 Jing Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF; α2γ2) is a potent genetic modifier of the severity of β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Differences in the levels of HbF that persist into adulthood affect the severity of sickle cell disease and the β-thalassemia syndromes. Sry type HMG box (SOX6) is a potent silencer of HbF. Here, we reactivated γ-globin expression by downregulating SOX6 to alleviate anemia in the β-thalassemia patients. Methods. SOX6 was downregulated by lentiviral RNAi (RNA interference) in K562 cell line and an in vitro culture model of human erythropoiesis in which erythroblasts are derived from the normal donor mononuclear cells (MNC) or β-thalassemia major MNC. The expression of γ-globin was analyzed by qPCR (quantitative real-time PCR) and WB (western blot). Results. Our data showed that downregulation of SOX6 induces γ-globin production in K562 cell line and human erythrocytes from normal donors and β-thalassemia major donors, without altering erythroid maturation. Conclusions. This is the first report on γ-globin induction by downregulation of SOX6 in human erythroblasts derived from β-thalassemia major.