GFI1 is repressed by p53 and inhibits DNA damage-induced apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: GFI1 is a transcriptional repressor that plays a critical role in hematopoiesis and has also been implicated in lymphomagenesis. It is still poorly understood how GFI1 expression is regulated in the hematopoietic system. We show here that GFI1 transcription was repressed by the tumor suppressor p53 in hematopoietic cells. Knockdown of p53 resulted in increased GFI1 expression and abolished DNA damage-induced GFI1 downregulation. In contrast, GFI1 expression was reduced and its downregulation in response to DNA damage was rescued upon restoration of p53 function in p53-deficient cells. In luciferase reporter assays, wild type p53, but not a DNA binding-defective p53 mutant, repressed the GFI1 promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays demonstrated that p53 bound to the proximal region of the GFI1 promoter. Detailed mapping of the GFI1 promoter indicated that GFI1 core promoter region spanning from -33 to +6 bp is sufficient for p53-mediated repression. This core promoter region contains a putative p53 repressive response element, mutation of which abolished p53 binding to and repression of GFI1 promoter. Significantly, apoptosis induced by DNA damage was inhibited upon Gfi1 overexpression, but augmented following GFI1 knockdown. Our data establish for the first time that GFI1 is repressed by p53 and add to our understanding of the roles of GFI1 in normal hematopoiesis and lymphomagenesis.
Project description:Gfi1 is a zinc-finger transcriptional repressor that plays an important role in hematopoiesis. When aberrantly activated, Gfi1 may function as a weak oncoprotein in the lymphoid system, but collaborates strongly with c-Myc in lymphomagenesis. The mechanism by which Gfi1 collaborates with c-Myc in lymphomagenesis is incompletely understood. We show here that Gfi1 augmented the expression of c-Myc protein in cells transfected with c-Myc expression constructs. The N-terminal SNAG domain and C-terminal ZF domains of Gfi1, but not its transcriptional repression and DNA binding activities, were required for c-Myc upregulation. We further show that Gfi1 overexpression led to reduced polyubiquitination and increased stability of c-Myc protein. Interestingly, the levels of endogenous c-Myc mRNA and protein were augmented upon Gfi1 overexpression, but reduced following Gfi1 knockdown or knockout, which was associated with a decline in the expression of c-Myc-activated target genes. Consistent with its role in the regulation of c-Myc expression, Gfi1 promoted Myc-driven cell cycle progression and proliferation. Together, these data reveal a novel mechanism by which Gfi1 augments the biological function of c-Myc and may have implications for understanding the functional collaboration between Gfi1 and c-Myc in lymphomagenesis.
Project description:The DNA-binding zinc finger transcription factors Gfi1 and Gfi1b were discovered more than 20 years ago and are recognized today as major regulators of both early hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cells. Both proteins function as transcriptional repressors by recruiting histone-modifying enzymes to promoters and enhancers of target genes. The establishment of Gfi1 and Gfi1b reporter mice made it possible to visualize their cell type-specific expression and to understand their function in hematopoietic lineages. We now know that Gfi1 is primarily important in myeloid and lymphoid differentiation, whereas Gfi1b is crucial for the generation of red blood cells and platelets. Several rare hematologic diseases are associated with acquired or inheritable mutations in the GFI1 and GFI1B genes. Certain patients with severe congenital neutropenia carry mutations in the GFI1 gene that lead to the disruption of the C-terminal zinc finger domains. Other mutations have been found in the GFI1B gene in families with inherited bleeding disorders. In addition, the Gfi1 locus is frequently found to be a proviral integration site in retrovirus-induced lymphomagenesis, and new, emerging data suggest a role of Gfi1 in human leukemia and lymphoma, underlining the role of both factors not only in normal hematopoiesis, but also in a wide spectrum of human blood diseases.
Project description:p53 is critical in regulating the differentiation of ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Here, we report a whole-genome study of p53-mediated DNA damage signaling in mouse ES cells. Systems analyses reveal that binding of p53 at the promoter region significantly correlates with gene activation but not with repression. Unexpectedly, we identify a regulatory mode for p53-mediated repression through interfering with distal enhancer activity. Importantly, many ES cell-enriched core transcription factors are p53-repressed genes. Further analyses demonstrate that p53-repressed genes are functionally associated with ES/iPS cell status while p53-activated genes are linked to differentiation. p53-activated genes and -repressed genes also display distinguishable features of expression levels and epigenetic markers. Upon DNA damage, p53 regulates the self-renewal and pluripotency of ES cells. Together, these results support a model where, in response to DNA damage, p53 affects the status of ES cells through activating differentiation-associated genes and repressing ES cell-enriched genes.
Project description:Precise control of microRNA expression contributes to development and the establishment of tissue identity, including in proper hematopoietic commitment and differentiation, whereas aberrant expression of various microRNAs has been implicated in malignant transformation. A small number of microRNAs are upregulated in megakaryocytes, among them is microRNA-22 (miR-22). Dysregulation of miR-22 leads to various hematologic malignancies and disorders, but its role in hematopoiesis is not yet well established. Here we show that upregulation of miR-22 is a critical step in megakaryocyte differentiation. Megakaryocytic differentiation in cell lines is promoted upon overexpression of miR-22, whereas differentiation is disrupted in CRISPR/Cas9-generated miR-22 knockout cell lines, confirming that miR-22 is an essential mediator of this process. RNA-sequencing reveals that miR-22 loss results in downregulation of megakaryocyte-associated genes. Mechanistically, we identify the repressive transcription factor, GFI1, as the direct target of miR-22, and upregulation of GFI1 in the absence of miR-22 inhibits megakaryocyte differentiation. Knocking down aberrant GFI1 expression restores megakaryocytic differentiation in miR-22 knockout cells. Furthermore, we have characterized hematopoiesis in miR-22 knockout animals and confirmed that megakaryocyte differentiation is similarly impaired in vivo and upon ex vivo megakaryocyte differentiation. Consistently, repression of Gfi1 is incomplete in the megakaryocyte lineage in miR-22 knockout mice and Gfi1 is aberrantly expressed upon forced megakaryocyte differentiation in explanted bone marrow from miR-22 knockout animals. This study identifies a positive role for miR-22 in hematopoiesis, specifically in promoting megakaryocyte differentiation through repression of GFI1, a target antagonistic to this process.
Project description:Growth factor independence 1 (GFI1) is a DNA binding zinc finger protein, which can mediate transcriptional repression mainly by recruiting histone-modifying enzymes to its target genes. GFI1 plays important roles in hematopoiesis, in particular by regulating both the function of hematopoietic stem- and precursor cells and differentiation along myeloid and lymphoid lineages. In recent years, a number of publications have provided evidence that GFI1 is involved in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), its proposed precursor, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and possibly also in the progression from MDS to AML. For instance, expression levels of the GFI1 gene correlate with patient survival and treatment response in both AML and MDS and can influence disease progression and maintenance in experimental animal models. Also, a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of GFI1, GFI1-36N, which encodes a variant GFI1 protein with a decreased efficiency to act as a transcriptional repressor, was found to be a prognostic factor for the development of AML and MDS. Both the GFI1-36N variant as well as reduced expression of the GFI1 gene lead to genome-wide epigenetic changes at sites where GFI1 occupies target gene promoters and enhancers. These epigenetic changes alter the response of leukemic cells to epigenetic drugs such as HDAC- or HAT inhibitors, indicating that GFI1 expression levels and genetic variants of GFI1 are of clinical relevance. Based on these and other findings, specific therapeutic approaches have been proposed to treat AML by targeting some of the epigenetic changes that occur as a consequence of GFI1 expression. Here, we will review the well-known role of Gfi1 as a transcription factor and describe the more recently discovered functions of GFI1 that are independent of DNA binding and how these might affect disease progression and the choice of epigenetic drugs for therapeutic regimens of AML and MDS.
Project description:PLK1 is a critical mediator of G?/M cell cycle transition that is inactivated and depleted as part of the DNA damage-induced G?/M checkpoint. Here we show that downregulation of PLK1 expression occurs through a transcriptional repression mechanism and that p53 is both necessary and sufficient to mediate this effect. Repression of PLK1 by p53 occurs independently of p21 and of arrest at G?/S where PLK1 levels are normally repressed in a cell cycle-dependent manner through a CDE/CHR element. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicates that p53 is present on the PLK1 promoter at two distinct sites termed p53RE1 and p53RE2. Recruitment of p53 to p53RE2, but not to p53RE1, is stimulated in response to DNA damage and/or p53 activation and is coincident with repression-associated changes in the chromatin. Downregulation of PLK1 expression by p53 is relieved by the histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A, and involves recruitment of histone deacetylase to the vicinity of p53RE2, further supporting a transcriptional repression mechanism. Additionally, wild type, but not mutant, p53 represses expression of the PLK1 promoter when fused upstream of a reporter gene. Silencing of PLK1 expression by RNAi interferes with cell cycle progression consistent with a role in the p53-mediated checkpoint. These data establish PLK1 as a direct transcriptional target of p53, independently of p21, that is required for efficient G?/M arrest.
Project description:The liver is exposed to a wide variety of toxic agents, many of which damage DNA and result in increased levels of the tumour suppressor protein p53. We have previously shown that p53 inhibits the transactivation function of HNF (hepatocyte nuclear factor) 4alpha1, a nuclear receptor known to be critical for early development and liver differentiation. In the present study we demonstrate that p53 also down-regulates expression of the human HNF4alpha gene via the proximal P1 promoter. Overexpression of wild-type p53 down-regulated endogenous levels of both HNF4alpha protein and mRNA in Hep3B cells. This decrease was also observed when HepG2 cells were exposed to UV irradiation or doxorubicin, both of which increased endogenous p53 protein levels. Ectopically expressed p53, but not a mutant p53 defective in DNA binding (R249S), down-regulated HNF4alpha P1 promoter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation also showed that endogenous p53 bound the HNF4alpha P1 promoter in vivo after doxorubicin treatment. The mechanism by which p53 down-regulates the P1 promoter appears to be multifaceted. The down-regulation was partially recovered by inhibition of HDAC activity and appears to involve the positive regulator HNF6alpha. p53 bound HNF6alpha in vivo and in vitro and prevented HNF6alpha from binding DNA in vitro. p53 also repressed stimulation of the P1 promoter by HNF6alpha in vivo. However, since the R249S p53 mutant also bound HNF6alpha, binding HNF6alpha is apparently not sufficient for the repression. Implications of the p53-mediated repression of HNF4alpha expression in response to cellular stress are discussed.
Project description:DNA cytosine methylation is an epigenetic modification involved in the transcriptional repression of genes controlling a variety of physiological processes, including hematopoiesis. DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) is a key enzyme involved in the somatic inheritance of DNA methylation and thus plays a critical role in epigenomic stability. Aberrant methylation contributes to the pathogenesis of human cancer and of hematologic malignancies in particular. To gain deeper insight into the function of Dnmt1 in lymphoid malignancies, we genetically inactivated Dnmt1 in a mouse model of MYC-induced T-cell lymphomagenesis. We show that loss of Dnmt1 delays lymphomagenesis by suppressing normal hematopoiesis and impairing tumor cell proliferation. Acute inactivation of Dnmt1 in primary lymphoma cells rapidly induced apoptosis, indicating that Dnmt1 is required to sustain T-cell lymphomas. Using high-resolution genome-wide profiling, we identified differentially methylated regions between control and Dnmt1-deficient lymphomas, demonstrating a locus-specific function for Dnmt1 in both maintenance and de novo promoter methylation. Dnmt1 activity is independent of the presence of Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b in de novo promoter methylation of the H2-Ab1 gene. Collectively, these data show for the first time that Dnmt1 is critical for the prevention and maintenance of T-cell lymphomas and contributes to aberrant methylation by both de novo and maintenance methylation.
Project description:Most patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) fail current treatments highlighting the need for better therapies. Because oncogenic signaling activates a p53-dependent DNA damage response and apoptosis, leukemic cells must devise appropriate countermeasures. We show here that growth factor independence 1 (Gfi1) can serve such a function because Gfi1 ablation exacerbates p53 responses and lowers the threshold for p53-induced cell death. Specifically, Gfi1 restricts p53 activity and expression of proapoptotic p53 targets such as Bax, Noxa (Pmaip1), and Puma (Bbc3). Subsequently, Gfi1 ablation cures mice from leukemia and limits the expansion of primary human T-ALL xenografts in mice. This suggests that targeting Gfi1 could improve the prognosis of patients with T-ALL or other lymphoid leukemias.
Project description:ATM phosphorylation of Mdm2-S394 is required for robust p53 stabilization and activation in DNA-damaged cells. We have now utilized Mdm2(S394A) knockin mice to determine that phosphorylation of Mdm2-S394 regulates p53 activity and the DNA damage response in lymphatic tissues in vivo by modulating Mdm2 stability. Mdm2-S394 phosphorylation delays lymphomagenesis in E?-myc transgenic mice, and preventing Mdm2-S394 phosphorylation obviates the need for p53 mutation in Myc-driven tumorigenesis. However, irradiated Mdm2(S394A) mice also have increased hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell functions, and we observed decreased lymphomagenesis in sub-lethally irradiated Mdm2(S394A) mice. These findings document contrasting effects of ATM-Mdm2 signaling on p53 tumor suppression and reveal that destabilizing Mdm2 by promoting its phosphorylation by ATM would be effective in treating oncogene-induced malignancies, while inhibiting Mdm2-S394 phosphorylation during radiation exposure or chemotherapy would ameliorate bone marrow failure and prevent the development of secondary hematological malignancies.