Comprehensive microRNA expression profiling of the hematopoietic hierarchy.
ABSTRACT: The hematopoietic system produces a large number of highly specialized cell types that are derived through a hierarchical differentiation process from a common stem cell population. miRNAs are critical players in orchestrating this differentiation. Here, we report the development and application of a high-throughput microfluidic real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) approach for generating global miRNA profiles for 27 phenotypically distinct cell populations isolated from normal adult mouse hematopoietic tissues. A total of 80,000 RT-qPCR assays were used to map the landscape of miRNA expression across the hematopoietic hierarchy, including rare progenitor and stem cell populations. We show that miRNA profiles allow for the direct inference of cell lineage relations and functional similarity. Our analysis reveals a close relatedness of the miRNA expression patterns in multipotent progenitors and stem cells, followed by a major reprogramming upon restriction of differentiation potential to a single lineage. The analysis of miRNA expression in single hematopoietic cells further demonstrates that miRNA expression is very tightly regulated within highly purified populations, underscoring the potential of single-cell miRNA profiling for assessing compartment heterogeneity.
Project description:Optimal endogenous controls enable reliable normalization of microRNA (miRNA) expression in reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). This is particularly important when miRNAs are considered as candidate diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. Universal endogenous controls are lacking, thus candidate normalizers must be evaluated individually for each experiment. Here we present a strategy that we applied to the identification of optimal control miRNAs for RT-qPCR profiling of miRNA expression in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and in normal cells of T-lineage. First, using NormFinder for an iterative analysis of miRNA stability in our miRNA-seq data, we established the number of control miRNAs to be used in RT-qPCR. Then, we identified optimal control miRNAs by a comprehensive analysis of miRNA stability in miRNA-seq data and in RT-qPCR by analysis of RT-qPCR amplification efficiency and expression across a variety of T-lineage samples and T-ALL cell line culture conditions. We then showed the utility of the combination of three miRNAs as endogenous normalizers (hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-25-3p, and hsa-let-7a-5p). These miRNAs might serve as first-line candidate endogenous controls for RT-qPCR analysis of miRNAs in different types of T-lineage samples: T-ALL patient samples, T-ALL cell lines, normal immature thymocytes, and mature T-lymphocytes. The strategy we present is universal and can be transferred to other RT-qPCR experiments.
Project description:Stromal/stem cell differentiation is controlled by a vast array of regulatory mechanisms. Included within these are methods of mRNA gene regulation that occur at the level of epigenetic, transcriptional, and/or posttranscriptional modifications. Current studies that evaluate the posttranscriptional regulation of mRNA demonstrate microRNAs (miRNAs) as key mediators of stem cell differentiation through the inhibition of mRNA translation. miRNA expression is enhanced during both adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation; however, the mechanism by which miRNA expression is altered during stem cell differentiation is less understood. Here we demonstrate for the first time that adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) induced to an adipogenic or osteogenic lineage have differences in strand preference (-3p and -5p) for miRNAs originating from the same primary transcript. Furthermore, evaluation of miRNA expression in ASCs demonstrates alterations in both miRNA strand preference and 5'seed site heterogeneity. Additionally, we show that during stem cell differentiation there are alterations in expression of genes associated with the miRNA biogenesis pathway. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated changes in the Argonautes (AGO1-4), Drosha, and Dicer at intervals of ASC adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation compared to untreated ASCs. Specifically, we demonstrated altered expression of the AGOs occurring during both adipogenesis and osteogenesis, with osteogenesis increasing AGO1-4 expression and adipogenesis decreasing AGO1 gene and protein expression. These data demonstrate changes to components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway during stromal/stem cell differentiation. Identifying regulatory mechanisms for miRNA processing during ASC differentiation may lead to novel mechanisms for the manipulation of lineage differentiation of the ASC through the global regulation of miRNA as opposed to singular regulatory mechanisms.
Project description:Human T-cell leukemia virus type-I (HTLV-I) is the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), an aggressive lymphoproliferative disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are differentially expressed during hematopoiesis and lineage commitment of hematopoietic stem cell progenitors (HSCPs). Here, we report aberrant expression of hematopoietic-specific miR-223, miR-181a, miR-150, miR-142.3p, and miR-155 in HTLV-I-infected cells in vitro and uncultured ex vivo ATL cells. Our results suggest that HTLV-I-infected cells have an unbalanced expression of miRNA that favors T-cell differentiation. We also found altered expression of miRNA previously recognized as innate immunity regulators: miR-155, miR-125a, miR-132, and miR-146. Strikingly, our data also revealed significant differences between ex vivo ATL tumor cells and in vitro HTLV-I cell lines. Specifically, miR-150 and miR-223 were up-regulated in ATL patients but consistently down-regulated in HTLV-I cell lines, suggesting that ATL cells and in vitro-established cells are derived from distinct cellular populations.
Project description:Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) have a critical role in tissue regeneration and in the hematopoietic niche due to their differentiation and self-renewal capacities. These mechanisms are finely tuned partly by small non-coding microRNA implicated in post-transcriptional regulation. The easiest way to quantify them is RT-qPCR followed by normalization on validated reference genes (RGs). This study identified appropriate RG for normalization of miRNA expression in BM-MSCs and HS27a and HS5 cell lines in various conditions including normoxia, hypoxia, co-culture, as model for the hematopoietic niche and after induced differentiation as model for regenerative medicine. Six candidates, namely miR-16-5p, miR-34b-3p, miR-103a-3p, miR-191-5p, let-7a-5p and RNU6A were selected and their expression verified by RT-qPCR. Next, a ranking on stability of the RG candidates were performed with two algorithms geNorm and RefFinder and the optimal number of RGs needed to normalize was determined. Our results indicate miR-191-5p as the most stable miRNA in all conditions but also that RNU6a, usually used as RG is the less stable gene. This study demonstrates the interest of rigorously evaluating candidate miRNAs as reference genes and the importance of the normalization process to study the expression of miRNAs in BM-MSCs or derived cell lines.
Project description:Despite two decades of studies documenting the in vitro blood-forming potential of murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), achieving stable long-term blood engraftment of ESC-derived hematopoietic stem cells in irradiated mice has proven difficult. We have exploited the Cdx-Hox pathway, a genetic program important for blood development, to enhance the differentiation of ESCs along the hematopoietic lineage. Using an embryonic stem cell line engineered with tetracycline-inducible Cdx4, we demonstrate that ectopic Cdx4 expression promotes hematopoietic mesoderm specification, increases hematopoietic progenitor formation, and, together with HoxB4, enhances multilineage hematopoietic engraftment of lethally irradiated adult mice. Clonal analysis of retroviral integration sites confirms a common stem cell origin of lymphoid and myeloid populations in engrafted primary and secondary mice. These data document the cardinal stem cell features of self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of ESC-derived hematopoietic stem cells.
Project description:The interplay between polycomb and trithorax complexes has been implicated in embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal and differentiation. It has been shown recently that WRD5 and Dpy-30, specific components of the SET1/MLL protein complexes, play important roles during ESC self-renewal and differentiation of neural lineages. However, not much is known about how and where specific trithorax complexes are targeted to genes involved in self-renewal or lineage-specification. Here, we report that the recruitment of the hSET1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase (HMT) complex by transcription factor USF1 is required for mesoderm specification and lineage differentiation. In undifferentiated ESCs, USF1 maintains hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HS/PC) associated bivalent chromatin domains and differentiation potential. Furthermore, USF1 directed recruitment of the hSET1A complex to the HoxB4 promoter governs the transcriptional activation of HoxB4 gene and regulates the formation of early hematopoietic cell populations. Disruption of USF or hSET1A function by overexpression of a dominant-negative AUSF1 mutant or by RNA-interference-mediated knockdown, respectively, led to reduced expression of mesoderm markers and inhibition of lineage differentiation. We show that USF1 and hSET1A together regulate H3K4me3 modifications and transcription preinitiation complex assembly at the hematopoietic-associated HoxB4 gene during differentiation. Finally, ectopic expression of USF1 in ESCs promotes mesoderm differentiation and enforces the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition by inducing hematopoietic-associated transcription factors, HoxB4 and TAL1. Taken together, our findings reveal that the guided-recruitment of the hSET1A histone methyltransferase complex and its H3K4 methyltransferase activity by transcription regulator USF1 safeguards hematopoietic transcription programs and enhances mesoderm/hematopoietic differentiation.
Project description:Mice deficient for microRNA (miRNA) cluster mirn23a exhibit increased B lymphopoiesis at the expense of myelopoiesis, whereas hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) populations are unchanged. Mammals possess a paralogous mirn23b gene that can give rise to three mature miRNAs (miR-23b, miR-24-1, and miR-27b) that have identical seed/mRNA-targeting sequences to their mirn23a counterparts. To assess whether compound deletion of mirn23a and mirn23b exacerbates the hematopoietic phenotype observed in mirn23a-/- mice, we generated a compound mirn23a-/-mirn23bfl/fl:Mx1-Cre conditional knockout mouse and assayed hematopoietic development after excision of mirn23b. Loss of both genes in adult bone marrow further skewed HSPC differentiation toward B cells at the expense of myeloid cells, demonstrating a dosage-dependent effect on regulating cell differentiation. Strikingly, double-knockout (DKO) mice had decreased bone marrow cellularity with significantly decreased hematopoietic stem cell and HSPC populations, a phenotype not observed in mice deficient for mirn23a alone. Competitive transplantation assays showed decreased contribution of mirn23a-/-mirn23b-/- HSPCs to hematopoietic lineages at 6 and 12 weeks after transplantation. Defects in the proliferation of mirn23a-/-b-/- HSPCs was not observed; however, DKO cells were more apoptotic compared with both wild-type and mirn23a-/- cells. Together, our data show that complete loss of mirn23a/mirn23b miRNAs results in decreased blood production and affects lineage output in a concentration-dependent manner.
Project description:While it is clear that a single hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) is capable of giving rise to all other hematopoietic cell types, the differentiation paths beyond HSC remain controversial. Contradictory reports on the lineage potential of progenitor populations have questioned their physiological contribution of progenitor populations to multilineage differentiation. Here, we established a lineage tracing mouse model that enabled direct assessment of differentiation pathways in vivo. We provide definitive evidence that differentiation into all hematopoietic lineages, including megakaryocyte/erythroid cell types, involves Flk2-expressing non-self-renewing progenitors. A Flk2+ stage was used during steady-state hematopoiesis, after irradiation-induced stress and upon HSC transplantation. In contrast, HSC origin and maintenance do not include a Flk2+ stage. These data demonstrate that HSC specification and maintenance are Flk2 independent, and that hematopoietic lineage separation occurs downstream of Flk2 upregulation.
Project description:Canine myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) resembles the early stages of myxomatous pathology seen in human non-syndromic mitral valve prolapse, a common valvular heart disease in the adult human population. Canine MMVD is seen in older subjects, suggesting age-related epigenetic dysregulation leading to derangements in valvular cell populations and matrix synthesis or degradation. We hypothesized that valvular interstitial cells (VICs) undergo disease-relevant changes in miRNA expression. In primary VIC lines from diseased and control valves, miRNA expression was profiled using RT-qPCR and next generation sequencing. VICs from diseased valves showed phenotypic changes consistent with myofibroblastic differentiation (vimentinlow+, ?-SMAhigh+), increases in senescence markers (p21, SA-?-g?l), and decreased cell viability and proliferation potential. RT-qPCR and miRNA sequencing analyses both showed significant (p<0.05) downregulation of let-7c, miR-17, miR-20a, and miR-30d in VICs from diseased valves compared to controls. Decreased let-7c, miR-17, and miR-20a may contribute to myofibroblastic differentiation in addition to cell senescence, and decreased miR-30d may disinhibit cell apoptosis. These data support the hypothesis that epigenetic dysregulation plays an important role in age-related canine MMVD.
Project description:Hematopoiesis is a multistage process involving the differentiation of stem and progenitor cells into distinct mature cell lineages. Here we present Haemopedia, an atlas of murine gene-expression data containing 54 hematopoietic cell types, covering all the mature lineages in hematopoiesis. We include rare cell populations such as eosinophils, mast cells, basophils, and megakaryocytes, and a broad collection of progenitor and stem cells. We show that lineage branching and maturation during hematopoiesis can be reconstructed using the expression patterns of small sets of genes. We also have identified genes with enriched expression in each of the mature blood cell lineages, many of which show conserved lineage-enriched expression in human hematopoiesis. We have created an online web portal called Haemosphere to make analyses of Haemopedia and other blood cell transcriptional datasets easier. This resource provides simple tools to interrogate gene-expression-based relationships between hematopoietic cell types and genes of interest.