Project description:The mechanism of lineage commitment from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is not well understood. Although commitment to either the lymphoid or the myeloid lineage is popularly viewed as the first step of lineage restriction from HSCs, this model of hematopoietic differentiation has recently been challenged. The previous identification of multipotent progenitors (MPPs) that can produce lymphocytes and granulocyte/macrophages (GMs) but lacks erythroid differentiation ability suggests the existence of an alternative HSC differentiation program. Contribution to different hematopoietic lineages by these MPPs under physiological conditions, however, has not been carefully examined. In this study, we performed a refined characterization of MPPs by subfractionating three distinct subsets based on Flt3 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression. These MPP subsets differ in their ability to give rise to erythroid and GM lineage cells but are equally potent in lymphoid lineage differentiation in vivo. The developmental hierarchy of these MPP subsets demonstrates the sequential loss of erythroid and then GM differentiation potential during early hematopoiesis. Our results suggest that the first step of lineage commitment from HSCs is not simply a selection between the lymphoid and the myeloid lineage.
Project description:During development, the regulated expression of tissue-specific genes can be preceded by their potentiation, that is, by chromatin activation in progenitor cells. For example, the human beta-like globin genes are potentiated in a gene- and developmental-specific manner in hematopoietic progenitors. Developmental regulation of human beta-gene expression in erythroid cells is mostly determined by transcriptional activators; however, it is not clear how gene-specific potentiation is set in hematopoietic progenitors. Using human and transgenic multipotent hematopoietic progenitors, we demonstrate that human beta-globin locus activation is characterized by TBP, NF-E2, CBP and BRG1 recruitment at both the Locus Control Region and human beta-gene promoter. Our results further indicate that in hematopoietic progenitors, EKLF influences chromatin organization at the human beta-globin locus and is instrumental for human beta-gene potentiation. Thus, we show that lineage-specific transcriptional activators expressed at basal levels in progenitor cells can participate in gene potentiation.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and death during development and postnatal life. The expression level of mature miRNAs results from complex molecular mechanisms, including the transcriptional regulation of their genes. MiR-223 is a hematopoietic-specific miRNA participating in regulatory signaling networks involving lineage-specific transcription factors (TFs). However, the transcriptional mechanisms governing its expression levels and its functional role in lineage fate decision of human hematopoietic progenitors (HPCs) have not yet been clarified. We found that in CD34(+)HPCs undergoing unilineage differentiation/maturation, miR-223 is upregulated more than 10-fold during granulopoiesis, 3-fold during monocytopoiesis and maintained at low levels during erythropoiesis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and promoter luciferase assays showed that the lineage-specific expression level of mature miR-223 is controlled by the coordinated binding of TFs to their DNA-responsive elements located in 'distal' and 'proximal' regulatory regions of the miR-223 gene, differentially regulating the transcription of two primary transcripts (pri-miRs). All this drives myeloid progenitor maturation into specific lineages. Accordingly, modulation of miR-223 activity in CD34(+)HPCs and myeloid cell lines significantly affects their differentiation/maturation into erythroid, granulocytic and monocytic/macrophagic lineages. MiR-223 overexpression increases granulopoiesis and impairs erythroid and monocytic/macrophagic differentiation. Its knockdown, meanwhile, impairs granulopoiesis and facilitates erythropoiesis and monocytic/macrophagic differentiation. Overall, our data reveal that transcriptional pathways acting on the differential regulation of two pri-miR transcripts results in the fine-tuning of a single mature miRNA expression level, which dictates the lineage fate decision of hematopoietic myeloid progenitors.
Project description:Despite an important role in vascular development and repair, the origin of endothelial progenitors remains unknown. Accumulating evidence indicates that cells derived from the hematopoietic system participate in angiogenesis. However, the identity and functional role of these cells remain controversial. Here we show that vascular endothelial cells can differentiate from common myeloid progenitors and granulocyte/macrophage progenitors. Endothelial cells derived from transplanted bone marrow-derived myeloid lineage progenitors expressed CD31, von Willebrand factor, and Tie2 but did not express the hematopoietic markers CD45 and F4/80 or the pericyte markers desmin and smooth muscle actin. Lineage tracing analysis in combination with a Tie2-driven Cre/lox reporter system revealed that, in contrast to bone marrow-derived hepatocytes, bone marrow-derived endothelial cells are not the products of cell fusion. The establishment of both hematopoietic and endothelial cell chimerism after parabiosis demonstrates that circulating cells can give rise to vascular endothelium in the absence of acute radiation injury. Our findings indicate that endothelial cells are an intrinsic component of myeloid lineage differentiation and underscore the close functional relationship between the hematopoietic and vascular systems.
Project description:Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) represent a promising source of patient-specific cells for disease modeling, drug screens, and cellular therapies. However, the inability to derive engraftable human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) has limited their characterization to in vitro assays. We report a strategy to respecify lineage-restricted CD34(+)CD45(+) myeloid precursors derived from hPSCs into multilineage progenitors that can be expanded in vitro and engrafted in vivo. HOXA9, ERG, and RORA conferred self-renewal and multilineage potential in vitro and maintained primitive CD34(+)CD38(-) cells. Screening cells via transplantation revealed that two additional factors, SOX4 and MYB, conferred engraftment. Progenitors specified with all five factors gave rise to reproducible short-term engraftment with myeloid and erythroid lineages. Erythroid precursors underwent hemoglobin switching in vivo, silencing embryonic and activating adult globin expression. Our combinatorial screening approach establishes a strategy for obtaining transcription-factor-mediated engraftment of blood progenitors from human pluripotent cells.