Erythropoietin-directed erythropoiesis depends on serpin inhibition of erythroblast lysosomal cathepsins.
ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (EPO) and its cell surface receptor (EPOR) are essential for red blood cell production and exert important cytoprotective effects on select vascular, immune, and cancer cells. To discover novel EPO action modes, we profiled the transcriptome of primary erythroid progenitors. We report Serpina3g/Spi2A as a major new EPO/EPOR target for the survival of erythroid progenitors. In knockout mice, loss of Spi2A worsened anemia caused by hemolysis, radiation, or transplantation. EPO-induced erythropoiesis also was compromised. In particular, maturing erythroblasts required Spi2A for cytoprotection, with iron and reactive oxygen species as cytotoxic agents. Spi2A defects were ameliorated by cathepsin-B/L inhibition, and by genetic co-deletion of lysosomal cathepsin B. Pharmacological inhibition of cathepsin B/L enhanced EPO-induced red cell formation in normal mice. Overall, we define an unexpected EPO action mode via an EPOR-Spi2A serpin-cathepsin axis in maturing erythroblasts, with lysosomal cathepsins as novel therapeutic targets.
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:Epo's erythropoietic capacity is ascribed largely to its antiapoptotic actions. In part via gene profiling of bone marrow erythroblasts, Epo is now shown to selectively down-modulate the adhesion/migration factors chemokine receptor-4 (Cxcr4) and integrin alpha-4 (Itga4) and to up-modulate growth differentiation factor-3 (Gdf3), oncostatin-M (OncoM), and podocalyxin like-1 (PODXL). For PODXL, Epo dose-dependent expression of this CD34-related sialomucin was discovered in Kit(+)CD71(high) proerythroblasts and was sustained at subsequent Kit(-)CD71(high) and Ter119(+) stages. In vivo, Epo markedly induced PODXL expression in these progenitors and in marrow-resident reticulocytes. This was further associated with a rapid release of PODXL(+) reticulocytes to blood. As studied in erythroblasts expressing minimal Epo receptor (EpoR) alleles, efficient PODXL induction proved dependence on an EpoR-PY343 Stat5 binding site. Moreover, in mice expressing an EpoR-HM F343 allele, compromised Epo-induced PODXL expression correlated with abnormal anucleated red cell representation in marrow. By modulating this select set of cell-surface adhesion molecules and chemokines, Epo is proposed to mobilize erythroblasts from a hypothesized stromal niche and possibly promote reticulocyte egress to blood.
Project description:Ligation of erythropoietin (EPO) receptor (EPOR) JAK2 kinase complexes propagates signals within erythroid progenitor cells (EPCs) that are essential for red blood cell production. To reveal hypothesized novel EPOR/JAK2 targets, a phosphotyrosine (PY) phosphoproteomics approach was applied. Beyond known signal transduction factors, 32 new targets of EPO-modulated tyrosine phosphorylation were defined. Molecular adaptors comprised one major set including growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (GRB2)-associated binding proteins 1-3 (GAB1-3), insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2), docking protein 1 (DOK1), Src homology 2 domain containing transforming protein 1 (SHC1), and sprouty homologue 1 (SPRY1) as validating targets, and SPRY2, SH2 domain containing 2A (SH2D2A), and signal transducing adaptor molecule 2 (STAM2) as novel candidate adaptors together with an ORF factor designated as regulator of human erythroid cell expansion (RHEX). RHEX is well conserved in Homo sapiens and primates but absent from mouse, rat, and lower vertebrate genomes. Among tissues and lineages, RHEX was elevated in EPCs, occurred as a plasma membrane protein, was rapidly PY-phosphorylated >20-fold upon EPO exposure, and coimmunoprecipitated with the EPOR. In UT7epo cells, knockdown of RHEX inhibited EPO-dependent growth. This was associated with extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1,2 (ERK1,2) modulation, and RHEX coupling to GRB2. In primary human EPCs, shRNA knockdown studies confirmed RHEX regulation of erythroid progenitor expansion and further revealed roles in promoting the formation of hemoglobinizing erythroblasts. RHEX therefore comprises a new EPO/EPOR target and regulator of human erythroid cell expansion that additionally acts to support late-stage erythroblast development.
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:Erythropoietin (Epo) is the principal regulator of the erythropoietic response to hypoxic stress, through its receptor, EpoR. The EpoR signals mediating the stress response are largely unknown, and the spectrum of progenitors that are stress responsive is not fully defined. Here, we used flow cytometry to identify stress-responsive Ter119+CD71highFSChigh early erythroblast subsets in vivo. In the mouse spleen, an erythropoietic reserve organ, early erythroblasts were present at lower frequencies and were undergoing higher rates of apoptosis than equivalent cells in bone marrow. A high proportion of splenic early erythroblasts coexpressed the death receptor Fas, and its ligand, FasL. Fas-positive early erythroblasts were significantly more likely to coexpress annexin V than equivalent, Fas-negative cells, suggesting that Fas mediates early erythroblast apoptosis in vivo. We examined several mouse models of erythropoietic stress, including erythrocytosis and beta-thalassemia. We found a dramatic increase in the frequency of splenic early erythroblasts that correlated with down-regulation of Fas and FasL from their cell surface. Further, a single injection of Epo specifically suppressed early erythroblast Fas and FasL mRNA and cell-surface expression. Therefore, Fas and FasL are negative regulators of erythropoiesis. Epo-mediated suppression of erythroblast Fas and FasL is a novel stress response pathway that facilitates erythroblast expansion in vivo.
Project description:Erythropoiesis is a robust process of cellular expansion and maturation occurring in murine bone marrow and spleen. We previously determined that sublethal irradiation, unlike bleeding or hemolysis, depletes almost all marrow and splenic erythroblasts but leaves peripheral erythrocytes intact. To better understand the erythroid stress response, we analyzed progenitor, precursor, and peripheral blood compartments of mice post-4 Gy total body irradiation. Erythroid recovery initiates with rapid expansion of late-stage erythroid progenitors-day 3 burst-forming units and colony-forming units, associated with markedly increased plasma erythropoietin (EPO). Although initial expansion of late-stage erythroid progenitors is dependent on EPO, this cellular compartment becomes sharply down-regulated despite elevated EPO levels. Loss of EPO-responsive progenitors is associated temporally with a wave of maturing erythroid precursors in marrow and with emergence of circulating erythroid progenitors and subsequent reestablishment of splenic erythropoiesis. These circulating progenitors selectively engraft and mature in irradiated spleen after short-term transplantation, supporting the concept that bone marrow erythroid progenitors migrate to spleen. We conclude that sublethal radiation is a unique model of endogenous stress erythropoiesis, with specific injury to the extravascular erythron, expansion and maturation of EPO-responsive late-stage progenitors exclusively in marrow, and subsequent reseeding of extramedullary sites.
Project description:JAK2 V617F is a mutant-activated JAK2 kinase found in most polycythemia vera (PV) patients; it skews normal proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and simulates aberrant expansion of erythroid progenitors. JAK2 V617F is known to activate some signaling pathways not normally activated in mature erythroblasts, but there has been no systematic study of signal transduction pathways or gene expression in erythroid cells expressing JAK2 V617F undergoing erythropoietin (Epo)-dependent terminal differentiation. Here we report that expression of JAK2 V617F in murine fetal liver Epo-dependent progenitors allows them to divide approximately six rather than the normal approximately four times in the presence of Epo, delaying their exit from the cell cycle. Over time, the number of red cells formed from each Epo-dependent progenitor increases fourfold, and these cells eventually differentiate into normal enucleated reticulocytes. We report that purified fetal liver Epo-dependent progenitors express many cytokine receptors additional to the EpoR. Expression of JAK2 V617F triggers activation of Stat5, the only STAT normally activated by Epo, as well as activation of Stat1 and Stat3. Expression of JAK2 V617F also leads to transient induction of many genes not normally activated in terminally differentiating erythroid cells and that are characteristic of other hematopoietic lineages. Inhibition of Stat1 activation blocks JAK2 V617F hyperproliferation of erythroid progenitors, and we conclude that Stat1-mediated activation of nonerythroid signaling pathways delays terminal erythroid differentiation and permits extended cell divisions.
Project description:Critical signals for erythroblast formation are transduced by activated, tyrosine-phosphorylated erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) complexes. Nonetheless, steady-state erythropoiesis is supported effectively by EpoR alleles that are deficient in cytoplasmic phosphotyrosine sites. To better define core EpoR action mechanisms, signaling capacities of minimal PY-null (EpoR-HM) and PY343-retaining (EpoR-H) alleles were analyzed for the first time in bone marrow-derived erythroblasts. Jak2 activation via each allele was comparable. Stat5 (and several Stat5-response genes) were induced via EpoR-H but not via EpoR-HM. Stat1 and Stat3 activation was nominal for all EpoR forms. For both EpoR-HM and EpoR-H, Akt and p70S6-kinase activation was decreased multifold, and JNK activation was minimal. ERKs, however, were hyperactivated uniquely via EpoR-HM. In vivo, Epo expression in EpoR-HM mice was elevated, while Epo-induced reticulocyte production was diminished. In vitro, EpoR-HM erythroblast maturation also was attenuated (based on DNA content, forward-angle light scatter, and hemoglobinization). These EpoR-HM-specific defects were corrected not only upon PY343 site restoration in EpoR-H, but also upon MEK1,2 inhibition. Core EpoR PY site-independent signals for erythroblast formation therefore appear to be Stat5, Stat1, Stat3, p70S6-kinase, and JNK independent, but ERK dependent. Wild-type signaling capacities, however, depend further upon signals provided via an EpoR/PY343/Stat5 axis.
Project description: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:Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) is a first-line therapeutic for the anemia of chronic kidney disease, cancer chemotherapy, AIDS (Zidovudine therapy), and lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome. However, rhEPO frequently elevates hypertension, is costly, and may affect cancer progression. Potentially high merit therefore exists for defining new targets for anti-anemia agents within erythropoietin (EPO) and EPO receptor (EPOR) regulatory circuits.EPO production by renal interstitial fibroblasts is subject to modulation by several regulators of hypoxia-inducible factor 2a (HIF2a) including Iron Response Protein-1, prolyl hydroxylases, and HIF2a acetylases, each of which holds potential as anti-anemia drug targets. The cell surface receptor for EPO (EPOR) preassembles as a homodimer, together with Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2), and therefore it remains attractive to develop novel agents that trigger EPOR complex activation (activating antibodies, mimetics, small-molecule agonists). Additionally, certain downstream transducers of EPOR/JAK2 signaling may be druggable, including Erythroferrone (a hepcidin regulator), a cytoprotective Spi2a serpin, and select EPOR-associated protein tyrosine phosphatases.While rhEPO (and biosimilars) are presently important mainstay erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), impetus exists for studies of novel ESAs that fortify HIF2a's effects, act as EPOR agonists, and/or bolster select downstream EPOR pathways to erythroid cell formation. Such agents could lessen rhEPO dosing, side effects, and/or costs.