Erythroid progenitor renewal versus differentiation: genetic evidence for cell autonomous, essential functions of EpoR, Stat5 and the GR.
ABSTRACT: The balance between hematopoietic progenitor commitment and self-renewal versus differentiation is controlled by various transcriptional regulators cooperating with cytokine receptors. Disruption of this balance is increasingly recognized as important in the development of leukemia, by causing enhanced renewal and differentiation arrest. We studied regulation of renewal versus differentiation in primary murine erythroid progenitors that require cooperation of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR), the receptor tyrosine kinase c-Kit and a transcriptional regulator (glucocorticoid receptor; GR) for sustained renewal. However, mice defective for GR- (GR(dim/dim)), EpoR- (EpoR(H)) or STAT5ab function (Stat5ab(-/-)) show no severe erythropoiesis defects in vivo. Using primary erythroblast cultures from these mutants, we present genetic evidence that functional GR, EpoR, and Stat5 are essential for erythroblast renewal in vitro. Cells from GR(dim/dim), EpoR(H), and Stat5ab(-/-) mice showed enhanced differentiation instead of renewal, causing accumulation of mature cells and gradual proliferation arrest. Stat5ab was additionally required for Epo-induced terminal differentiation: differentiating Stat5ab(-/-) erythroblasts underwent apoptosis instead of erythrocyte maturation, due to absent induction of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-X(L). This defect could be fully rescued by exogenous Bcl-X(L). These data suggest that signaling molecules driving leukemic proliferation may also be essential for prolonged self-renewal of normal erythroid progenitors.
Project description:Erythropoietin (Epo), along with its receptor EpoR, is the principal regulator of red cell development. Upon Epo addition, the EpoR signaling through the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) activates multiple pathways including Stat5, phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K)/Akt, and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). The adaptor protein Lnk is implicated in cytokine receptor signaling. Here, we showed that Lnk-deficient mice have elevated numbers of erythroid progenitors, and that splenic erythroid colony-forming unit (CFU-e) progenitors are hypersensitive to Epo. Lnk(-/-) mice also exhibit superior recovery after erythropoietic stress. In addition, Lnk deficiency resulted in enhanced Epo-induced signaling pathways in splenic erythroid progenitors. Conversely, Lnk overexpression inhibits Epo-induced cell growth in 32D/EpoR cells. In primary culture of fetal liver cells, Lnk overexpression inhibits Epo-dependent erythroblast differentiation and induces apoptosis. Lnk blocks 3 major signaling pathways, Stat5, Akt, and MAPK, induced by Epo in primary erythroblasts. In addition, the Lnk Src homology 2 (SH2) domain is essential for its inhibitory function, whereas the conserved tyrosine near the C-terminus and the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of Lnk are not critical. Furthermore, wild-type Lnk, but not the Lnk SH2 mutant, becomes tyrosine-phosphorylated following Epo administration and inhibits EpoR phosphorylation and JAK2 activation. Hence, Lnk, through its SH2 domain, negatively modulates EpoR signaling by attenuating JAK2 activation, and regulates Epo-mediated erythropoiesis.
Project description:Stem cells and progenitors in many lineages undergo self-renewing divisions, but the extracellular and intracellular proteins that regulate this process are largely unknown. Glucocorticoids stimulate red blood cell formation by promoting self-renewal of early burst-forming unit-erythroid (BFU-E) progenitors. Here we show that the RNA-binding protein ZFP36L2 is a transcriptional target of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in BFU-Es and is required for BFU-E self-renewal. ZFP36L2 is normally downregulated during erythroid differentiation from the BFU-E stage, but its expression is maintained by all tested GR agonists that stimulate BFU-E self-renewal, and the GR binds to several potential enhancer regions of ZFP36L2. Knockdown of ZFP36L2 in cultured BFU-E cells did not affect the rate of cell division but disrupted glucocorticoid-induced BFU-E self-renewal, and knockdown of ZFP36L2 in transplanted erythroid progenitors prevented expansion of erythroid lineage progenitors normally seen following induction of anaemia by phenylhydrazine treatment. ZFP36L2 preferentially binds to messenger RNAs that are induced or maintained at high expression levels during terminal erythroid differentiation and negatively regulates their expression levels. ZFP36L2 therefore functions as part of a molecular switch promoting BFU-E self-renewal and a subsequent increase in the total numbers of colony-forming unit-erythroid (CFU-E) progenitors and erythroid cells that are generated.
Project description:In 1985-1989, erythropoietin (EPO), its receptor (EPOR), and janus kinase 2 were cloned; established to be essential for definitive erythropoiesis; and initially intensely studied. Recently, new impetus, tools, and model systems have emerged to re-examine EPO/EPOR actions, and are addressed in this review. Impetus includes indications that EPO affects significantly more than standard erythroblast survival pathways, the development of novel erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, increasing evidence for EPO/EPOR cytoprotection of ischemically injured tissues, and potential EPO-mediated worsening of tumorigenesis.New findings are reviewed in four functional contexts: (pro)erythroblast survival mechanisms, new candidate EPO/EPOR effects on erythroid cell development and new EPOR responses, EPOR downmodulation and trafficking, and novel erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.As Current Opinion, this monograph seeks to summarize, and provoke, new EPO/EPOR action concepts. Specific problems addressed include: beyond (and before) BCL-XL, what key survival factors are deployed in early-stage proerythroblasts? Are distinct EPO/EPOR signals transduced in stage-selective fashions? Is erythroblast proliferation also modulated by EPO/EPOR signals? What functions are subserved by new noncanonical EPO/EPOR response factors (e.g. podocalyxin like-1, tribbles 3, reactive oxygen species, and nuclear factor kappa B)? What key regulators mediate EPOR inhibition and trafficking? And for emerging erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, to what extent do activities parallel EPOs (or differ in advantageous, potentially complicating ways, or both)?
Project description:Sprouty proteins are established modifiers of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling and play important roles in vasculogenesis, bone morphogenesis, and renal uteric branching. Little is understood, however, concerning possible roles for these molecular adaptors during hematopoiesis. Within erythroid lineage, Spry1 was observed to be selectively and highly expressed at CFU-e to erythroblast stages. In analyses of possible functional roles, an Mx1-Cre approach was applied to conditionally delete Spry1. At steady state, Spry1 deletion selectively perturbed erythroid development and led to reticulocytosis plus heightened splenic erythropoiesis. When challenged by hemolysis, Spry1-null mice exhibited worsened anemia and delayed recovery. During short-term marrow transplantation, Spry1-null donor marrow also failed to efficiently rescue the erythron. In each anemia model, however, hyperexpansion of erythroid progenitors was observed. Spry function depends on phosphorylation of a conserved N-terminal PY motif. Through an LC-MS/MS approach, Spry1 was discovered to be regulated via the erythropoietin receptor (EPOR), with marked EPO-induced Spry1-PY53 phosphorylation observed. When EPOR signaling pathways were analyzed within Spry1-deficient erythroid progenitors, hyperactivation of not only Erk1,2 but also Jak2 was observed. Studies implicate Spry1 as a novel regulator of erythropoiesis during anemia, transducer of EPOR signals, and candidate suppressor of Jak2 activity.
Project description:In beta-thalassemia, the mechanism driving ineffective erythropoiesis (IE) is insufficiently understood. We analyzed mice affected by beta-thalassemia and observed, unexpectedly, a relatively small increase in apoptosis of their erythroid cells compared with healthy mice. Therefore, we sought to determine whether IE could also be characterized by limited erythroid cell differentiation. In thalassemic mice, we observed that a greater than normal percentage of erythroid cells was in S-phase, exhibiting an erythroblast-like morphology. Thalassemic cells were associated with expression of cell cycle-promoting genes such as EpoR, Jak2, Cyclin-A, Cdk2, and Ki-67 and the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-X(L). The cells also differentiated less than normal erythroid ones in vitro. To investigate whether Jak2 could be responsible for the limited cell differentiation, we administered a Jak2 inhibitor, TG101209, to healthy and thalassemic mice. Exposure to TG101209 dramatically decreased the spleen size but also affected anemia. Although our data do not exclude a role for apoptosis in IE, we propose that expansion of the erythroid pool followed by limited cell differentiation exacerbates IE in thalassemia. In addition, these results suggest that use of Jak2 inhibitors has the potential to profoundly change the management of this disorder.
Project description:Erythropoiesis is a tightly regulated process. Development of red blood cells occurs through differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) into more committed progenitors and finally into erythrocytes. Binding of erythropoietin (Epo) to its receptor (EpoR) is required for erythropoiesis as it promotes survival and late maturation of erythroid progenitors. In vivo and in vitro studies have highlighted the requirement of EpoR signaling through Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) tyrosine kinase and Stat5a/b as a central pathway. Here, we demonstrate that phospholipase C gamma 1 (Plcγ1) is activated downstream of EpoR-Jak2 independently of Stat5. Plcγ1-deficient pro-erythroblasts and erythroid progenitors exhibited strong impairment in differentiation and colony-forming potential. In vivo, suppression of Plcγ1 in immunophenotypically defined HSCs (Lin(-)Sca1(+)KIT(+)CD48(-)CD150(+)) severely reduced erythroid development. To identify Plcγ1 effector molecules involved in regulation of erythroid differentiation, we assessed changes occurring at the global transcriptional and DNA methylation level after inactivation of Plcγ1. The top common downstream effector was H2afy2, which encodes for the histone variant macroH2A2 (mH2A2). Inactivation of mH2A2 expression recapitulated the effects of Plcγ1 depletion on erythroid maturation. Taken together, our findings identify Plcγ1 and its downstream target mH2A2, as a 'non-canonical' Epo signaling pathway essential for erythroid differentiation.
Project description:Certain concepts concerning EPO/EPOR action modes have been challenged by in vivo studies: Bcl-x levels are elevated in maturing erythroblasts, but not in their progenitors; truncated EPOR alleles that lack a major p85/PI3K recruitment site nonetheless promote polycythemia; and Erk1 disruption unexpectedly bolsters erythropoiesis. To discover novel EPO/EPOR action routes, global transcriptome analyses presently are applied to interrogate EPO/EPOR effects on primary bone marrow-derived CFUe-like progenitors. Overall, 160 EPO/EPOR target transcripts were significantly modulated 2-to 21.8-fold. A unique set of EPO-regulated survival factors included Lyl1, Gas5, Pim3, Pim1, Bim, Trib3 and Serpina 3g. EPO/EPOR-modulated cell cycle mediators included Cdc25a, Btg3, Cyclin-d2, p27-kip1, Cyclin-g2 and CyclinB1-IP-1. EPO regulation of signal transduction factors was also interestingly complex. For example, not only Socs3 plus Socs2 but also Spred2, Spred1 and Eaf1 were EPO-induced as negative-feedback components. Socs2, plus five additional targets, further proved to comprise new EPOR/Jak2/Stat5 response genes (which are important for erythropoiesis during anemia). Among receptors, an atypical TNF-receptor Tnfr-sf13c was up-modulated >5-fold by EPO. Functionally, Tnfr-sf13c ligation proved to both promote proerythroblast survival, and substantially enhance erythroblast formation. The EPOR therefore engages a sophisticated set of transcriptome response circuits, with Tnfr-sf13c deployed as one novel positive regulator of proerythroblast formation.
Project description:Burst-forming unit erythroid progenitors (BFU-Es) are so named based on their ability to generate in methylcellulose culture large colonies of erythroid cells that consist of "bursts" of smaller erythroid colonies derived from the later colony-forming unit erythroid progenitor erythropoietin (Epo)-dependent progenitors. "Early" BFU-E cells forming large BFU-E colonies presumably have higher capacities for self-renewal than do "late" BFU-Es forming small colonies, but the mechanism underlying this heterogeneity remains unknown. We show that the type III transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) receptor (T?RIII) is a marker that distinguishes early and late BFU-Es. Transient elevation of T?RIII expression promotes TGF-? signaling during the early BFU-E to late BFU-E transition. Blocking TGF-? signaling using a receptor kinase inhibitor increases early BFU-E cell self-renewal and total erythroblast production, suggesting the usefulness of this type of drug in treating Epo-unresponsive anemias.
Project description:The interaction of the hormone erythropoietin and its receptor (EpoR) is though to be required for normal hematopoiesis. To define the role of EpoR in this process, the murine EpoR was disrupted by homologous recombination. Mice lacking the EpoR died in utero at embryonic day 11-12.5 with severe anemia. Embryonic erythropoiesis was markedly diminished, while fetal liver hematopoiesis was blocked at the proerythroblast stage. Other cell types known to express EpoR, including megakaryocytes, mast, and neural cells were morphologically normal. Reverse transcription-coupled PCR analysis of RNA from embryonic yolk sac, peripheral blood, and fetal liver demonstrated near normal transcripts levels for EKLF, thrombopoietin (Tpo), c-MPL, GATA-1, GATA-2, and alpha- and embryonic beta H1-globin but non for adult beta maj-globin. While colony-forming unit-erythroid (CFU-E) and burst-forming unit-erythroid (BFU-E) colonies were not present in cultures derived from EpoR-/- liver or yolk sac cells, hemoglobin-containing BFU-E colonies were detected in cultures treated with recombinant Tpo and Kit ligand or with Tpo and interleukin 3 and 11. Rescued BFU-E colonies expressed adult beta-globin and c-MPL and appeared morphologically normal. Thus, erythroid progenitors are formed in vivo in mice lacking the EpoR, and our studies demonstrate that a signal transmitted through the Tpo receptor c-MPL stimulates proliferation and terminal differentiation of these progenitors in vitro.
Project description:Many acute and chronic anaemias, including haemolysis, sepsis and genetic bone marrow failure diseases such as Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, are not treatable with erythropoietin (Epo), because the colony-forming unit erythroid progenitors (CFU-Es) that respond to Epo are either too few in number or are not sensitive enough to Epo to maintain sufficient red blood cell production. Treatment of these anaemias requires a drug that acts at an earlier stage of red cell formation and enhances the formation of Epo-sensitive CFU-E progenitors. Recently, we showed that glucocorticoids specifically stimulate self-renewal of an early erythroid progenitor, burst-forming unit erythroid (BFU-E), and increase the production of terminally differentiated erythroid cells. Here we show that activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR-?) by the PPAR-? agonists GW7647 and fenofibrate synergizes with the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to promote BFU-E self-renewal. Over time these agonists greatly increase production of mature red blood cells in cultures of both mouse fetal liver BFU-Es and mobilized human adult CD34(+) peripheral blood progenitors, with a new and effective culture system being used for the human cells that generates normal enucleated reticulocytes. Although Ppara(-/-) mice show no haematological difference from wild-type mice in both normal and phenylhydrazine (PHZ)-induced stress erythropoiesis, PPAR-? agonists facilitate recovery of wild-type but not Ppara(-/-) mice from PHZ-induced acute haemolytic anaemia. We also show that PPAR-? alleviates anaemia in a mouse model of chronic anaemia. Finally, both in control and corticosteroid-treated BFU-E cells, PPAR-? co-occupies many chromatin sites with GR; when activated by PPAR-? agonists, additional PPAR-? is recruited to GR-adjacent sites and presumably facilitates GR-dependent BFU-E self-renewal. Our discovery of the role of PPAR-? agonists in stimulating self-renewal of early erythroid progenitor cells suggests that the clinically tested PPAR-? agonists we used may improve the efficacy of corticosteroids in treating Epo-resistant anaemias.