The Thrombopoietin Receptor: Structural Basis of Traffic and Activation by Ligand, Mutations, Agonists, and Mutated Calreticulin.
ABSTRACT: A well-functioning hematopoietic system requires a certain robustness and flexibility to maintain appropriate quantities of functional mature blood cells, such as red blood cells and platelets. This review focuses on the cytokine receptor that plays a significant role in thrombopoiesis: the receptor for thrombopoietin (TPO-R; also known as MPL). Here, we survey the work to date to understand how this receptor functions at a molecular level throughout its lifecycle, from traffic to the cell surface, dimerization and binding cognate cytokine via its extracellular domain, through to its subsequent activation of associated Janus kinases and initiation of downstream signaling pathways, as well as the regulation of these processes. Atomic level resolution structures of TPO-R have remained elusive. The identification of disease-causing mutations in the receptor has, however, offered some insight into structure and function relationships, as has artificial means of receptor activation, through TPO mimetics, transmembrane-targeting receptor agonists, and engineering in dimerization domains. More recently, a novel activation mechanism was identified whereby mutated forms of calreticulin form complexes with TPO-R via its extracellular N-glycosylated domain. Such complexes traffic pathologically in the cell and persistently activate JAK2, downstream signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), and other pathways. This pathologic TPO-R activation is associated with a large fraction of human myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Project description:Thrombocytopenia is a common hematologic disorder. Stimulation of thrombopoiesis may reduce the risk for thrombocytopenia-induced bleeding, prevent severe thrombocytopenia, and reduce the need for platelet transfusion. The key cytokine is thrombopoietin (TPO). It regulates proliferation and maturation of megakaryocytes as well as platelet production. TPO is synthesized in the liver. Development of TPO from the laboratory into a therapeutic tool has turned out to be an unexpected challenge. Clinical trials on first-generation thrombopoietic growth factors were stopped in 2001. At present, second-generation thrombopoiesis-stimulating agents have only been approved as orphan drugs for third-line therapy of patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia. Larger groups in need are patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia, other forms of hereditary and acquired bone marrow failure, hepatitis C infections, or liver cirrhosis.
Project description:Thrombopoietin (TPO) is a haematopoietic growth factor responsible for megakaryocyte progenitor proliferation and differentiation. It belongs to the four-helix-bundle cytokine family and exerts its biological effects through binding to a specific receptor, c-Mpl. With the use of site-directed mutagenesis we have generated 20 TPO mutants. Each of the TPO mutants was produced in a eukaryotic expression system and the mutants' ability to induce the proliferation of factor-dependent c-Mpl-expressing megakaryoblastic M-O7e cells was compared with that of wild-type TPO. Among the mutations studied, 10 lead to a significant decrease in TPO bioactivity. Of these ten residues, three are located in helix A of the protein (Arg10, Lys14 and Arg17) and four in helix D (His133, Gln132, Lys138 and Phe141), indicating that in TPO, as in other cytokines, these two helices are important for functional cytokine/receptor interactions. Surprisingly, mutant Arg10-->Ala (R10A) lacked any proliferative activity, despite the fact that this mutation was recently reported to have no effect on TPO/c-Mpl binding in a TPO phage ELISA [Pearce, Potts, Presta, Bald, Fendly and Wells (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 20595-20602]. The lack of M-O7e proliferation is probably due to an inability of R10A mutant to promote receptor dimerization and thus receptor activation. Moreover we found that the Arg10 and Arg17 residues of TPO seem to be specific determinants for TPO/c-Mpl recognition. We also demonstrate that the O-glycosylation site located at position 110 of TPO is not necessary for the bioactivity of the cytokine.
Project description:Studies using thrombopoietin -/- (TPO(-/-)) or TPO receptor, mpl(-/-) mice have established a critical role for TPO/mpl signaling in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) development. In this study, we further dissected mpl signaling in both megakaryopoiesis and HSC function, using mice bearing a truncated mpl receptor lacking the distal 60 amino acids (Delta60). This deletion removes three major signaling tyrosines on the mpl cytoplasmic domain, but retains the membrane proximal Box1 and Box2 domains required for JAK2 activation.Competitive bone marrow transplantations (BMT) and serial BMTs were performed to study HSC function. Western blot analysis was used to study TPO-stimulated signaling pathways. BM cell cultures in the presence of TPO were used to study megakaryocyte development.In agreement with prior findings, we show that Delta60 BM cells cultured in TPO generated normal numbers of megakaryocytes, but with greatly reduced ploidy. As expected from the deletion of three signaling tyrosine residues, freshly isolated Delta60 megakaryocytes showed marked reduction in all known TPO-stimulated signaling pathways tested, including signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) 5, Stat3, Akt, and p42/44 mitogen-activated kinase. We found that Delta60 mice displayed normal short-term (ST-HSC) activities and marginally compromised long-term (LT-HSC) stem cell activities in primary transplantation. In addition, Delta60 mice supported HSC self-renewal for at least two serial BMTs.Our data reveal a pivotal role for an unknown signal emanating from the membrane proximal region of the mpl receptor or from JAK2 itself in maintaining stem cell activity and self-renewal, in addition to its role in megakaryocytopoiesis and thrombopoiesis.
Project description:The cytokine thrombopoietin (TPO), the ligand for the hematopoietic receptor c-Mpl, acts as a primary regulator of megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production. We have determined the crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of human TPO (hTPO(163)) to a 2.5-A resolution by complexation with a neutralizing Fab fragment. The backbone structure of hTPO(163) has an antiparallel four-helix bundle fold. The neutralizing Fab mainly recognizes the C-D crossover loop containing the species invariant residue Q111. Titration calorimetric experiments show that hTPO(163) interacts with soluble c-Mpl containing the extracellular cytokine receptor homology domains with 1:2 stoichiometry with the binding constants of 3.3 x 10(9) M(-1) and 1.1 x 10(6) M(-1). The presence of the neutralizing Fab did not inhibit binding of hTPO(163) to soluble c-Mpl fragments, but the lower-affinity binding disappeared. Together with prior genetic data, these define the structure-function relationships in TPO and the activation scheme of c-Mpl.
Project description:Platelet production is induced by the cytokine thrombopoietin (TPO). It is physiologically critical that TPO expression is tightly regulated, because lack of TPO causes life-threatening thrombocytopenia while an excess of TPO results in thrombocytosis. The plasma concentration of TPO is controlled by a negative feedback loop involving receptor-mediated uptake of TPO by platelets. Furthermore, TPO biosynthesis is limited by upstream open reading frames (uORFs) that curtail the translation of the TPO mRNA. uORFs are suggested to activate RNA degradation by nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) in a number of physiological transcripts. Here, we determine whether NMD affects TPO expression. We show that reporter mRNAs bearing the seventh TPO uORF escape NMD. Importantly, endogenously expressed TPO mRNA from HuH7 cells is unaffected by abrogation of NMD by RNAi. Thus, regulation of TPO expression is independent of NMD, implying that mRNAs bearing uORFs cannot generally be considered to represent NMD targets.
Project description:Thrombopoietin (TPO) regulates early and late stages of platelet formation as well as platelet activation. TPO exerts its effects by binding to the receptor, encoded by the protooncogene c-mpl, that is expressed in a large number of cells of hematopoietic origin. In this study, we evaluated the expression of c-Mpl and the effects of TPO on human polymorphonuclear cells (PMN). We demonstrate that PMN express the TPO receptor c-Mpl and that TPO induces STAT1 tyrosine phosphorylation and the formation of a serum inducible element complex containing STAT1. The analysis of biological effects of TPO on PMN demonstrated that TPO, at concentrations of 1-10 ng/ml, primes the response of PMN to n-formyl-met-leu-phe (FMLP) by inducing an early oxidative burst. TPO-induced priming on FMLP-stimulated PMN was also detected on the tyrosine phosphorylation of a protein with a molecular mass of approximately 28 kD. Moreover, we demonstrated that TPO by itself was able to stimulate, at doses ranging from 0.05 to 10 ng/ml, early release and delayed synthesis of interleukin 8 (IL-8). Thus, our data indicate that, in addition to sustaining megakaryocytopoiesis, TPO may have an important role in regulating PMN activation.
Project description:Thrombopoietin receptor (TPOR) is a cytokine receptor protein present on the cell surface. The activation of TPOR by thrombopoietin (TPO) (a glycoprotein hormone) triggers an intracellular cascade of megakaryocytopoiesis for the formation of platelets. Recent studies on ex vivo megakaryocytopoiesis have evolved the possibilities of therapeutics uses. These findings have paved the way for the development of various TPO alternatives (recombinant TPO, peptide, and non-peptide TPO mimetics), which are useful in regenerative medicine. However, these alternatives possess various limitations such as induction of autoimmune effects, high production cost, low specificity, and hence activity. In the present study, a novel peptidic TPO mimetic was designed through computational studies by studying the binding sites of TPO and TMP to TPOR and analogs of known mimetics. Screening of combinatorial library was done through molecular docking using ClusPro. These studies indicated mimetic-9 as a significant molecule since it was found to have better binding score of -938.8?kcal/mol with seven hydrogen bonds and a high number of hydrophobic interactions, than known mimetic TMP with docking score of -798.4?kcal/mol and TMP dimer with docking score of -811.9?kcal/mol for TPOR. Mimetic9-TPOR complex was further assessed by the molecular dynamics simulation, and their complex was found to be stable with an RMSD value of 0.091?Å. While studying the parameters, mimetic-9 was found to have overall good physiochemical properties with positive grand average hydropathy (GRAVY) score and high instability index score and was found to be localized in the extracellular region. The designed mimetic-9 might prove to be a useful lead molecule for mimicking the role of TPO for in vitro platelet production with higher efficiency.
Project description:The development of mammalian megakaryocytes (MKs) and platelets, which are thought to be absent in non-mammals, is primarily regulated by the thrombopoietin (TPO)/Mpl system. Although non-mammals possess nucleated thrombocytes instead of platelets, the features of nucleated thrombocyte progenitors remain to be clarified. Here, we provide the general features of TPO using Xenopus laevis TPO (xlTPO). Hepatic and splenic cells were cultured in liquid suspension with recombinant xlTPO. These cells differentiated into large, round, polyploid CD41-expressing cells and were classified as X. laevis MKs, comparable to mammalian MKs. The subsequent culture of MKs after removal of xlTPO produced mature, spindle-shaped thrombocytes that were activated by thrombin, thereby altering their morphology. XlTPO induced MKs in cultured hepatic cells for at least three weeks; however, this was not observed in splenic cells; this result demonstrates the origin of early haematopoietic progenitors in the liver rather than the spleen. Additionally, xlTPO enhanced viability of peripheral thrombocytes, indicating the xlTPO-Mpl pathway stimulates anti-apoptotic in peripheral thrombocytes. The development of thrombocytes from MKs via the TPO-Mpl system in X. laevis plays a crucial role in their development from MKs, comparable to mammalian thrombopoiesis. Thus, our results offer insight into the cellular evolution of platelets/MKs in vertebrates. (200/200).
Project description:Thrombopoietin (TPO) and its receptor (Mpl) have long been associated with megakaryocyte proliferation, differentiation, and platelet formation. However, studies have also shown that the extracellular domain of Mpl (Mpl-EC) interacts with human (h) NUDC, a protein previously characterized as a human homolog of a fungal nuclear migration protein. This study was undertaken to further delineate the putative binding domain on the Mpl receptor. Using the yeast two-hybrid system assay and co-immunoprecipitation, we identified that within the Mpl-EC domain 1 (Mpl-EC-D1), amino acids 102-251 were strongly involved in ligand binding. We subsequently expressed five subdomains within this region with T7 phage display. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent binding assays identified a short stretch of peptide located between residues 206 and 251 as the minimum binding domain for both TPO and hNUDC. A series of sequential Ala replacement mutations in the region were subsequently used to identify the specific residues most involved in ligand binding. Our results point to two hydrophobic residues, Leu(228) and Leu(230), as having substantial effects on hNUDC binding. For TPO binding, mutations in residues Asp(235) and Leu(239) had the largest effect on binding efficacy. In addition, deletion of the conservative motif WGSWS reduced binding capacity for hNUDC but not for TPO. These separate binding sites on the Mpl receptor for TPO and hNUDC raise interesting implications for the cytokine-receptor interactions.
Project description:Thrombopoietin (TPO), a lineage-specific cytokine affecting the proliferation and maturation of megakaryocytes from committed progenitor cells, is believed to be the major physiological regulator of circulating platelet levels. Recently we have isolated a cDNA encoding a ligand for the murine c-mpl protooncogene and shown it to be TPO. By employing a murine cDNA probe, we have isolated a gene encoding human TPO from a human genomic library. The TPO locus spans over 6 kb and has a structure similar to that of the erythropoietin gene (EPO). Southern blot analysis of human genomic DNA reveals a hybridization pattern consistent with a single gene locus. The locus was mapped by in situ hybridization of metaphase chromosome preparations to chromosome 3q26-27, a site where a number of chromosomal abnormalities associated with thrombocythemia in cases of acute myeloid leukemia have been mapped. A human TPO cDNA was isolated by PCR from kidney mRNA. The cDNA encodes a protein with 80% identity to previously described murine TPO and is capable of initiating a proliferative signal to murine interleukin 3-dependent BaF3 cells expressing the murine or human TPO receptor.