ABSTRACT: Fanconi anemia (FA) patients develop bone marrow (BM) failure or leukemia. One standard care for these devastating complications is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We identified a group of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs)-derived metabolites, glycerophospholipids, and their endogenous inhibitor, 5-(tetradecyloxy)-2-furoic acid (TOFA), as regulators of donor hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We provided two pieces of evidence that TOFA could improve hematopoiesis-supporting function of FA MSCs: (a) limiting-dilution cobblestone area-forming cell assay revealed that TOFA significantly increased cobblestone colonies in Fanca-/- or Fancd2-/- cocultures compared to untreated cocultures. (b) Competitive repopulating assay using output cells collected from cocultures showed that TOFA greatly alleviated the abnormal expansion of the donor myeloid (CD45.2+Gr1+Mac1+) compartment in both peripheral blood and BM of recipient mice transplanted with cells from Fanca-/- or Fancd2-/- cocultures. Furthermore, mechanistic studies identified Tlr4 signaling as the responsible pathway mediating the effect of glycerophospholipids. Thus, targeting glycerophospholipid biosynthesis in FA MSCs could be a therapeutic strategy to improve hematopoiesis and stem cell transplantation.
Project description:Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disorder associated with bone marrow (BM) failure and leukemia. Recent studies demonstrate variable immune defects in FA. However, the cause for FA immunodeficiency is unknown. Here we report that deletion of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulates the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells (Tregs), shown functionally as exacerbation of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) in mice. Recipient mice of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) BM chimeras exhibited severe acute GVHD after allogeneic BM transplantation (BMT). T cells from Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice induced higher GVHD lethality than those from wild-type (WT) littermates. FA Tregs possessed lower proliferative suppression potential compared with WT Tregs, as demonstrated by in vitro proliferation assay and BMT. Analysis of CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs indicated that loss of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulated Foxp3 target gene expression. Additionally, CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice were less efficient in suppressing the production of GVHD-associated inflammatory cytokines. Consistently, aberrant NF-?B activity was observed in infiltrated T cells from FA GVHD mice. Conditional deletion of p65 in FA Tregs decreased GVHD mortality. Our study uncovers an essential role for FA proteins in maintaining Treg homeostasis, possibly explaining, at least in part, the immune deficiency reported in some FA patients.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells preserve their ability to self-renew and differentiate to different lineages in the bone marrow (BM) niche, which is composed in large part by BM stromal cells. Studies have shown that altered signaling in the BM niche results in leukemia initiation or progression. Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited BM failure syndrome associated with extremely high risk of leukemic transformation. By using two FA mouse models, here we have investigated the hematopoiesis-supportive function of FA BM mesenchymal stroma cells (MSCs). We found that MSCs deficient for Fanca or Fancc gene are defective in proliferation and prone to undergo senescence in vitro. Mechanistically, we show that the activity of cell division control protein 42 (Cdc42), a Rho GTPase known to be a critical regulator for cytoskeleton organization, is significantly reduced in FA MSCs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this reduction in Cdc42 activity plays a causal role in defective hematopoiesis-supportive function of the FA MSCs. The progenies of wild-type hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells cocultured on FA MSCs exhibit compromised self-renewal capacity both in vitro and in vivo. Genetic correction of FA deficiency restores Cdc42 activity and improves the hematopoiesis-supportive capacity of FA MSC. Finally, ectopic expression of a constitutively active Cdc42 mutant, Cdc42F28L, or pretreatment with Wnt5a, increases the active Cdc42 level and rescues the hematopoietic supportive defects of FA MSCs. Taken together, our results identify a novel link between Cdc42 activity and the hematopoiesis-supportive function of MSCs and suggest that a niche-specific increase of Cdc42 activity may be beneficial for FA therapy. Stem Cells 2018;36:785-795.
Project description:Fanconi anemia (FA) is a disorder of DNA repair that manifests as bone marrow (BM) failure. The lack of accurate murine models of FA has refocused efforts toward differentiation of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) to hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). However, an intact FA DNA repair pathway is required for efficient IPSC derivation, hindering these efforts. To overcome this barrier, we used inducible complementation of FANCA-deficient IPSCs, which permitted robust maintenance of IPSCs. Modulation of FANCA during directed differentiation to HPCs enabled the production of FANCA-deficient human HPCs that recapitulated FA genotoxicity and hematopoietic phenotypes relative to isogenic FANCA-expressing HPCs. FANCA-deficient human HPCs underwent accelerated terminal differentiation driven by activation of p53/p21. We identified growth arrest specific 6 (GAS6) as a novel target of activated p53 in FANCA-deficient HPCs and modulate GAS6 signaling to rescue hematopoiesis in FANCA-deficient cells. This study validates our strategy to derive a sustainable, highly faithful human model of FA, uncovers a mechanism of HPC exhaustion in FA, and advances toward future cell therapy in FA.
Project description:Icariin (ICA) is a flavonoid glucoside derived from the Epimedium plant genus, which has potent regenerative properties and is used in western medicine to treat impotence. Recently, ICA has generated great interest in improving hepatic stellate cell function and cardiac rejuvenation. However, how this natural component functions in hematopoiesis remains unexplored. Here we have examined the role of ICA on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) using the cancer-prone disease model of Fanconi anemia (FA), an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome with extremely high risk of leukemic predisposition. We show that ICA reverses the less quiescent status of HSCs deficient for the Fanca or Fancd2 gene, and improves the ability of these mutant stem cells to form colony formation units (CFU) in vitro and reconstitutes hematopoiesis in transplanted recipients. Further analysis reveals that ICA upregulates enzyme activity of the chromatin binding protein SIRT6 in Fanca-/- and Fancd2-/- HSCs, both of which have an intrinsic low SIRT6 activity. Furthermore, forced expression of SIRT6 blocks the natural decline of quiescent HSCs in Fanca-/- or Fancd2-/- mice and improves the repopulating capacity of these mutant HSCs in irradiated recipients. Mechanistically, ICA enhances SIRT6-mediated H3K9 deacetylation on the promoter of NF-?B and represses the expression of NF-?B target genes. Together, our findings indicate that ICA improves the function of HSCs by stimulating SIRT6 activity and contributes to the regenerative effect of ICA.
Project description:Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck are appearing with increased frequency in both marrow transplanted and non-transplanted Fanconi anemia (FA) patients. FA patients commonly display radiosensitivity of epithelial tissues, complicating effective radiotherapy. Fancd2-/- mice (C57BL/6J and 129/Sv background) demonstrate epithelial tissue sensitivity to single-fraction or fractionated irradiation to the head and neck and distant marrow suppression (abscopal effect), both ameliorated by intraoral administration of the mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant, GS-nitroxide, JP4-039. We now report that mice of two other FA genotypes, Fancg-/- (B6) and the most prevalent human genotype Fanca-/- (129/Sv), also demonstrate: 1. reduced longevity of hematopoiesis in long-term bone marrow cultures; 2. radiosensitivity of bone marrow stromal cell lines; and 3. head and neck radiation-induced severe mucositis and abscopal suppression of distant marrow hematopoiesis. Intraoral administration of JP4-039/F15, but not non-mitochondrial-targeted 4-amino-Tempo/F15 or F15 alone, prior to each radiation treatment ameliorated both local and abscopal radiation effects. Head and neck irradiated TGF-?-resistant SMAD3-/- (129/Sv) mice and double-knockout SMAD3-/- Fancd2-/- (129/Sv) mice treated daily with TGF-? receptor antagonist, LY364947, still displayed abscopal bone marrow suppression, implicating a non-TGF-? mechanism. Thus, amelioration of both local normal tissue radiosensitivity and distant marrow suppression by intraoral administration of JP4-039 in Fancg-/- and Fanca-/- mice supports a clinical trial of this locally administered normal tissue radioprotector and mitigator during head and neck irradiation in FA patients.
Project description:Fanconi Anemia (FA) clinical phenotypes are heterogenous and rely on a mutation in one of the 22 FANC genes (FANCA-W) involved in a common interstrand DNA crosslink-repair pathway. A critical step in the activation of FA pathway is the monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and its binding partner FANCI. To better address the clinical phenotype associated with FANCI and the epistatic relationship with FANCD2, we created the first conditional inactivation model for FANCI in mouse. Fanci -/- mice displayed typical FA features such as delayed development in utero, microphtalmia, cellular sensitivity to mitomycin C, occasional limb abnormalities and hematological deficiencies. Interestingly, the deletion of Fanci leads to a strong meiotic phenotype and severe hypogonadism. FANCI was localized in spermatocytes and spermatids and in the nucleus of oocytes. Both FANCI and FANCD2 proteins co-localized with RPA along meiotic chromosomes, albeit at different levels. Consistent with a role in meiotic recombination, FANCI interacted with RAD51 and stimulated D-loop formation, unlike FANCD2. The double knockout Fanci-/- Fancd2-/- also showed epistatic relationship for hematological defects while being not epistatic with respect to generating viable mice in crosses of double heterozygotes. Collectively, this study highlights common and distinct functions of FANCI and FANCD2 during mouse development, meiotic recombination and hematopoiesis.
Project description:Both Fanconi anemia (FA) and telomere dysfunction are associated with chromosome instability and an increased risk of cancer. Because of these similarities, we have investigated whether there is a relationship between the FA protein, FANCD2 and telomeres. We find that FANCD2 nuclear foci colocalize with telomeres and PML bodies in immortalized telomerase-negative cells. These cells maintain telomeres by alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). In contrast, FANCD2 does not colocalize with telomeres or PML bodies in cells which express telomerase. Using a siRNA approach we find that FANCA and FANCL, which are components of the FA nuclear core complex, regulate FANCD2 monoubiquitination and the telomeric localization of FANCD2 in ALT cells. Transient depletion of FANCD2, or FANCA, results in a dramatic loss of detectable telomeres in ALT cells but not in telomerase-expressing cells. Furthermore, telomere loss following depletion of these proteins in ALT cells is associated with decreased homologous recombination between telomeres (T-SCE). Thus, the FA pathway has a novel function in ALT telomere maintenance related to DNA repair. ALT telomere maintenance is therefore one mechanism by which monoubiquitinated FANCD2 may promote genetic stability.
Project description:Fanconi anemia complementation group (FANC) proteins constitute the Fanconi Anemia (FA)/BRCA pathway that is activated in response to DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). We previously performed yeast two-hybrid screening to identify novel FANC-interacting proteins and discovered that the alpha subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK?1) was a candidate binding partner of the FANCG protein, which is a component of the FA nuclear core complex. We confirmed the interaction between AMPK? and both FANCG using co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Additionally, we showed that AMPK? interacted with FANCA, another component of the FA nuclear core complex. AMPK? knockdown in U2OS cells decreased FANCD2 monoubiquitination and nuclear foci formation upon mitomycin C-induced ICLs. Furthermore, AMPK? knockdown enhanced cellular sensitivity to MMC. MMC treatment resulted in an increase in AMPK? phosphorylation/activation, indicating AMPK is involved in the cellular response to ICLs. FANCA was phosphorylated by AMPK at S347 and phosphorylation increased with MMC treatment. MMC-induced FANCD2 monoubiquitination and nuclear foci formation were compromised in a U2OS cell line that stably overexpressed the S347A mutant form of FANCA compared to wild-type FANCA-overexpressing cells, indicating a requirement for FANCA phosphorylation at S347 for proper activation of the FA/BRCA pathway. Our data suggest AMPK is involved in the activation of the FA/BRCA pathway.
Project description:Monoubiquitination of the Fanconi anemia complementation group D2 (FANCD2) protein by the FA core ubiquitin ligase complex is the central event in the FA pathway. FANCA and FANCG play major roles in the nuclear localization of the FA core complex. Mutations of these two genes are the most frequently observed genetic alterations in FA patients, and most point mutations in FANCA are clustered in the C-terminal domain (CTD). To understand the basis of the FA-associated FANCA mutations, we determined the cryo-electron microscopy (EM) structures of Xenopus laevis FANCA alone at 3.35 Å and 3.46 Å resolution and two distinct FANCA-FANCG complexes at 4.59 and 4.84 Å resolution, respectively. The FANCA CTD adopts an arc-shaped solenoid structure that forms a pseudo-symmetric dimer through its outer surface. FA- and cancer-associated point mutations are widely distributed over the CTD. The two different complex structures capture independent interactions of FANCG with either FANCA C-terminal HEAT repeats, or the N-terminal region. We show that mutations that disturb either of these two interactions prevent the nuclear localization of FANCA, thereby leading to an FA pathway defect. The structure provides insights into the function of FANCA CTD, and provides a framework for understanding FA- and cancer-associated mutations.
Project description:FANCM is a component of the Fanconi anemia (FA) core complex and one FA patient (EUFA867) with biallelic mutations in FANCM has been described. Strikingly, we found that EUFA867 also carries biallelic mutations in FANCA. After correcting the FANCA defect in EUFA867 lymphoblasts, a "clean" FA-M cell line was generated. These cells were hypersensitive to mitomycin C, but unlike cells defective in other core complex members, FANCM(-/-) cells were proficient in monoubiquitinating FANCD2 and were sensitive to the topoisomerase inhibitor camptothecin, a feature shared only with the FA subtype D1 and N. In addition, FANCM(-/-) cells were sensitive to UV light. FANCM and a C-terminal deletion mutant rescued the cross-linker sensitivity of FANCM(-/-) cells, whereas a FANCM ATPase mutant did not. Because both mutants restored the formation of FANCD2 foci, we conclude that FANCM functions in an FA core complex-dependent and -independent manner.