Inducible Forward Programming of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Hemato-endothelial Progenitor Cells with Hematopoietic Progenitor Potential.
ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer a promising platform to model early embryonic developmental processes, to create disease models that can be evaluated by drug screens as well as proof-of-concept experiments for regenerative medicine. However, generation of iPSC-derived hemato-endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells for these applications is challenging due to variable and limited cell numbers, which necessitates enormous up-scaling or development of demanding protocols. Here, we unravel the function of key transcriptional regulators SCL, LMO2, GATA2, and ETV2 (SLGE) on early hemato-endothelial specification and establish a fully inducible and stepwise hemato-endothelial forward programming system based on SLGE-regulated overexpression. Regulated induction of SLGE in stable SLGE-iPSC lines drives very efficient generation of large numbers of hemato-endothelial progenitor cells (CD144+/CD73-), which produce hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90+/CD49f+) through a gradual process of endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT).
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) offer a promising platform to model early embryonic developmental processes, to create disease models and proof-of-concept experiments for regenerative medicine. However, generation of iPSC derived hemato-endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells for these applications is challenging due to variable and limited cell numbers, which necessitates enormous up-scaling or development of demanding protocols. Here, we unravel the function of key transcriptional regulators SCL, LMO2, GATA2, ETV2 (SLGE) on early hemato-endothelial specification and establish a fully inducible and stepwise hemato-endothelial forward programming system, based on SLGE regulated overexpression. Regulated induction of SLGE in stable SLGE-iPSC lines drives very efficient generation of large numbers of hemato-endothelial progenitor cells (HEP) (CD144+/CD73-), which generate hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90+/CD49f+) through a gradual process of endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT). Overall design: A human fibroblast-derived iPSC line (H2E6C) was engineered to conditionally (doxycyclin-induction) express the transcription factors SCL (S), LMO2 (L), GATA2 (G) and ETV2 (E). On day 0, Phase I (hemato-endothelial programming; "SLGE-HEP") was started with a change to differentiation medium and an initial mesodermal priming boost by adding a GSK3 inhibitor (CHIR990221). After mesodermal priming, expression of SGLE was initiated by addition of Dox on day 1. Cells were differentiated towards the hemato-endothelial lineage via SLGE-expression and a mixture of supportive cytokines (SCF, TPO, IL-3, FGF2, VEGF). Phase II (generation of hematopoietic progenitor cells; "SLGE-HPC") was started on day 7 by Dox-withdrawal and cultivation of dissociated SLGE-HEP in STEMdiff APEL 2 medium supplemented SCF, TPO, Flt3L, IL-3 and FGF2. RNA-Seq was performed from iPS, day1, day 2, day 7 SLGE-HEP and compared to day 11 SLGE-HPC and human umbilical cord blood (CB) hematopoietic stem cells sorted for CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90high/CD49fhigh expressing cells.
Project description:Generation of fully functional hematopoietic multipotent progenitor (MPP) cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) has a great therapeutic potential to provide an unlimited cell source for treatment of hematological disorders. We previously demonstrated that CD34(+) CD31(+) CD144(+) population derived from hPSCs contain hemato-endothelial progenitors (HEPs) that give rise to hematopoietic and endothelial cells. Here, we report a differentiation system to generate definitive hematopoietic MPP cells from HEPs via endothelial monolayer. In the presence of angiogenic factors, HEPs formed an endothelial monolayer, from which hematopoietic clusters emerged through the process of endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT). EHT was significantly enhanced by hematopoietic growth factors. The definitive MPP cells generated from endothelial monolayer were capable of forming multilineage hematopoietic colonies, giving rise to T lymphoid cells, and differentiating into enucleated erythrocytes. Emergence of hematopoietic cells from endothelial monolayer occurred transiently. Hematopoietic potential was lost during prolonged culture of HEPs in endothelial growth conditions. Our study demonstrated that CD34(+) CD31(+) CD144(+) HEPs gave rise to hematopoietic MPP cells via hemogenic endothelial cells that exist transiently. The established differentiation system provides a platform for future investigation of regulatory factors involved in de novo generation of hematopoietic MPP cells and their applications in transplantation.
Project description:Endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT) is an important stage in definitive hematopoietic development. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying human EHT remain poorly characterized. We performed single cell RNA-seq using 55 hemogenic endothelial cells (HECs: CD31+ CD144+ CD41- CD43- CD45- CD73- RUNX1c+ ), 47 vascular endothelial cells without hematopoietic potential (non-HE: CD31+ CD144+ CD41- CD43- CD45- CD73- RUNX1c- ), and 35 hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs: CD34+ CD43+ RUNX1c+ ) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). HE and HP were enriched in genes implicated in hemogenic endothelial transcriptional networks, such as ERG, GATA2, and FLI. We found transcriptional overlap between individual HECs and HPCs; however, these populations were distinct from non-HE. Further analysis revealed novel biomarkers for human HEC/HPCs, including TIMP3, ESAM, RHOJ, and DLL4. Collectively, we demonstrate that hESC-derived HE and HP share a common developmental pathway, while non-HE are more heterogeneous and transcriptionally distinct. Our findings provide a novel strategy to test new genetic targets and optimize the production of definitive hematopoietic cells from human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells 2018;36:206-217.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to regulate critical developmental stages during embryogenesis. Here, we defined an Etv2-miR-130a cascade that regulates mesodermal specification and determination. Ablation of Dicer in the Etv2-expressing precursors resulted in altered mesodermal lineages and embryonic lethality. We identified miR-130a as a direct target of Etv2 and demonstrated its role in the segregation of bipotent hemato-endothelial progenitors toward the endothelial lineage. Gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that miR-130a promoted the endothelial program at the expense of the cardiac program without impacting the hematopoietic lineages. In contrast, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of miR-130a demonstrated a reduction of the endothelial program without affecting hematopoiesis. Mechanistically, miR-130a directly suppressed Pdgfra expression and promoted the endothelial program by blocking Pdgfra signaling. Inhibition or activation of Pdgfra signaling phenocopied the miR-130a overexpression and knockout phenotypes, respectively. In summary, we report the function of a miRNA that specifically promotes the divergence of the hemato-endothelial progenitor to the endothelial lineage.
Project description:The mouse Flk1 gene is expressed in various mesodermal progenitor cells of developing embryos. Recent studies have shown that Flk1 expression marks multipotent mesodermal progenitors, giving rise to various hemato-cardiovascular cell lineages during development. Flk1 expression also marks hemato-cardiovascular cell lineages in differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cells, which may be used in transplantation decisions to treat cardiovascular diseases. Despite its developmental and clinical importance in cardiovascular tissues, the transcriptional regulatory system of Flk1 has remained unclear. Here, we report a novel enhancer of the mouse Flk1 gene directing early mesodermal expression during development as well as ES differentiation. The enhancer enriches various mesodermal progenitors, such as primitive erythropoietic progenitors, hemangioblast (BL-CFC) and cardiovascular progenitors (CV-CFC). The enhancer is activated by Bmp, Wnt and Fgf, and it contains Gata-, Cdx-, Tcf/Lef-, ER71/Etv2- and Fox-binding sites, some of which are bound specifically by each of these transcription factors. As these transcription factors are known to act under the control of the Bmp, Wnt and Fgf families, early Flk1 expression may be induced by cooperative interactions between Gata, Tcf/Lef, Cdx and ER71/Etv2 under the control of Bmp, Wnt and Fgf signaling. The enhancer is required for early Flk1 expression and for hemangioblast development during ES differentiation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) offer a renewable source of cells for the generation of hematopoietic cells for cell-based therapy, disease modeling, and drug screening. However, current serum/feeder-free differentiation protocols rely on the use of various cytokines, which makes the process very costly or the generation of embryoid bodies (EBs), which are labor-intensive and can cause heterogeneity during differentiation. Here, we report a simple feeder and serum-free monolayer protocol for efficient generation of iPSC-derived multipotent hematoendothelial progenitors (HEPs), which can further differentiate into endothelial and hematopoietic cells including erythroid and T lineages. METHODS:Formation of HEPs from iPSCs was initiated by inhibition of GSK3 signaling for 2?days followed by the addition of VEGF and FGF2 for 3?days. The HEPs were further induced toward mature endothelial cells (ECs) in an angiogenic condition and toward T cells by co-culturing with OP9-DL1 feeder cells. Endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT) of the HEPs was further promoted by supplementation with the TGF-? signaling inhibitor. Erythroid differentiation was performed by culturing the hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) in a three-stage erythroid liquid culture system. RESULTS:Our protocol significantly enhanced the number of KDR+ CD34+ CD31+ HEPs on day 5 of differentiation. Further culture of HEPs in angiogenic conditions promoted the formation of mature ECs, which expressed CD34, CD31, CD144, vWF, and ICAM-1, and could exhibit the formation of vascular-like network and acetylated low-density lipoprotein (Ac-LDL) uptake. In addition, the HEPs were differentiated into CD8+ T lymphocytes, which could be expanded up to 34-fold upon TCR stimulation. Inhibition of TGF-? signaling at the HEP stage promoted EHT and yielded a large number of HSPCs expressing CD34 and CD43. Upon erythroid differentiation, these HSPCs were expanded up to 40-fold and displayed morphological changes following stages of erythroid development. CONCLUSION:This protocol offers an efficient and simple approach for the generation of multipotent HEPs and could be adapted to generate desired blood cells in large numbers for applications in basic research including developmental study, disease modeling, and drug screening as well as in regenerative medicine.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge from aortic endothelium via the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT). The molecular mechanisms that initiate and regulate EHT remain poorly understood. Here, we show that adenosine signaling regulates hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) development in zebrafish embryos. The adenosine receptor A2b is expressed in the vascular endothelium before HSPC emergence. Elevated adenosine levels increased runx1(+)/cmyb(+) HSPCs in the dorsal aorta, whereas blocking the adenosine pathway decreased HSPCs. Knockdown of A2b adenosine receptor disrupted scl(+) hemogenic vascular endothelium and the subsequent EHT process. A2b adenosine receptor activation induced CXCL8 via cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA) and mediated hematopoiesis. We further show that adenosine increased multipotent progenitors in a mouse embryonic stem cell colony-forming assay and in embryonic day 10.5 aorta-gonad-mesonephros explants. Our results demonstrate that adenosine signaling plays an evolutionary conserved role in the first steps of HSPC formation in vertebrates.
Project description:The t(4;11)(q21;q23) translocation is associated with high-risk infant pro-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and arises prenatally during embryonic/fetal hematopoiesis. The developmental/pathogenic contribution of the t(4;11)-resulting MLL-AF4 (MA4) and AF4-MLL (A4M) fusions remains unclear; MA4 is always expressed in patients with t(4;11)+ B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but the reciprocal fusion A4M is expressed in only half of the patients. Because prenatal leukemogenesis manifests as impaired early hematopoietic differentiation, we took advantage of well-established human embryonic stem cell-based hematopoietic differentiation models to study whether the A4M fusion cooperates with MA4 during early human hematopoietic development. Co-expression of A4M and MA4 strongly promoted the emergence of hemato-endothelial precursors, both endothelial- and hemogenic-primed. Double fusion-expressing hemato-endothelial precursors specified into significantly higher numbers of both hematopoietic and endothelial-committed cells, irrespective of the differentiation protocol used and without hijacking survival/proliferation. Functional analysis of differentially expressed genes and differentially enriched H3K79me3 genomic regions by RNA-sequencing and H3K79me3 chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing, respectively, confirmed a hematopoietic/endothelial cell differentiation signature in double fusion-expressing hemato-endothelial precursors. Importantly, chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing analysis revealed a significant enrichment of H3K79 methylated regions specifically associated with HOX-A cluster genes in double fusion-expressing differentiating hematopoietic cells. Overall, these results establish a functional and molecular cooperation between MA4 and A4M fusions during human hematopoietic development.
Project description:The ETS factor ETV2 (aka ER71) is essential for the generation of the blood and vascular system, as ETV2 deficiency leads to a complete block in blood and endothelial cell formation and embryonic lethality in the mouse. However, the ETV2-mediated gene regulatory network and signaling governing hematopoietic and endothelial cell development are poorly understood. Here, we map ETV2 global binding sites and carry out in vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells, and germ line and conditional knockout mouse studies to uncover mechanisms involved in the hemangiogenic fate commitment from mesoderm. We show that ETV2 binds to enhancers that specify hematopoietic and endothelial cell lineages. We find that the hemangiogenic progenitor population in the developing embryo can be identified as FLK1(high)PDGFR?(-). Notably, these hemangiogenic progenitors are exclusively sensitive to ETV2-dependent FLK1 signaling. Importantly, ETV2 turns on other Ets genes, thereby establishing an ETS hierarchy. Consequently, the hematopoietic and endothelial cell program initiated by ETV2 is maintained partly by other ETS factors through an ETS switching mechanism. These findings highlight the critical role that transient ETV2 expression plays in the regulation of hematopoietic and endothelial cell lineage specification and stability.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>ETS transcription factor Etv2/Etsrp is one of the earliest markers for vascular and hematopoietic progenitors and functions as a key regulator of hematovascular development in multiple vertebrates, including zebrafish. Therefore, transgenic etv2 reporter lines provide a valuable tool to study vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis. However, previously generated zebrafish reporter lines do not fully recapitulate the endogenous pattern of etv2 expression.<h4>Results</h4>Here we used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-independent DNA repair approach to knock-in a Gal4 transcriptional activator into the zebrafish etv2 genomic locus, thus generating etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> gene trap line. etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> ; UAS:GFP embryos show GFP expression in vascular endothelial, myeloid and red blood cells. Because gal4 insertion interrupts the etv2 locus, homozygous etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> embryos display defects in vasculogenesis and myelopoiesis, and enable visualizing etv2-deficient hematovascular progenitors in live embryos. Furthermore, we performed differential transcriptome analysis of sorted GFP-positive cells from heterozygous and homozygous etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> embryos. Approximately 500 downregulated genes were identified in etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> homozygous embryos, which include multiple genes expressed in vascular endothelial and myeloid cells.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The etv2 <sup>ci32Gt</sup> gene trap line and the data sets of misregulated genes will be valuable resources to study hematopoietic and vascular development.