Negative Regulation of the Differentiation of Flk2- CD34- LSK Hematopoietic Stem Cells by EKLF/KLF1.
ABSTRACT: Erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF/KLF1) was identified initially as a critical erythroid-specific transcription factor and was later found to be also expressed in other types of hematopoietic cells, including megakaryocytes and several progenitors. In this study, we have examined the regulatory effects of EKLF on hematopoiesis by comparative analysis of E14.5 fetal livers from wild-type and Eklf gene knockout (KO) mouse embryos. Depletion of EKLF expression greatly changes the populations of different types of hematopoietic cells, including, unexpectedly, the long-term hematopoietic stem cells Flk2- CD34- Lin- Sca1+ c-Kit+ (LSK)-HSC. In an interesting correlation, Eklf is expressed at a relatively high level in multipotent progenitor (MPP). Furthermore, EKLF appears to repress the expression of the colony-stimulating factor 2 receptor ? subunit (CSF2RB). As a result, Flk2- CD34- LSK-HSC gains increased differentiation capability upon depletion of EKLF, as demonstrated by the methylcellulose colony formation assay and by serial transplantation experiments in vivo. Together, these data demonstrate the regulation of hematopoiesis in vertebrates by EKLF through its negative regulatory effects on the differentiation of the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, including Flk2- CD34- LSK-HSCs.
Project description:While it is clear that a single hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) is capable of giving rise to all other hematopoietic cell types, the differentiation paths beyond HSC remain controversial. Contradictory reports on the lineage potential of progenitor populations have questioned their physiological contribution of progenitor populations to multilineage differentiation. Here, we established a lineage tracing mouse model that enabled direct assessment of differentiation pathways in vivo. We provide definitive evidence that differentiation into all hematopoietic lineages, including megakaryocyte/erythroid cell types, involves Flk2-expressing non-self-renewing progenitors. A Flk2+ stage was used during steady-state hematopoiesis, after irradiation-induced stress and upon HSC transplantation. In contrast, HSC origin and maintenance do not include a Flk2+ stage. These data demonstrate that HSC specification and maintenance are Flk2 independent, and that hematopoietic lineage separation occurs downstream of Flk2 upregulation.
Project description:Tight regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) homeostasis is essential for life-long hematopoiesis, for preventing blood cancers and for averting bone marrow failure. The underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we identify production of inositol-tetrakisphosphate (IP4) by inositoltrisphosphate 3-kinase B (ItpkB) as essential for HSC quiescence and function. Young ItpkB-/- mice accumulated phenotypic HSC and showed extramedullary hematopoiesis. ItpkB-/- HSC were less quiescent and proliferated more than wildtype controls. They downregulated quiescence and stemness associated mRNAs, but upregulated activation, oxidative metabolism, protein synthesis and lineage associated transcripts. Although they showed no significant homing defects, ItpkB-/- HSC had a severely reduced competitive long-term repopulating potential. Aging ItpkB-/- mice lost hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and died with severe anemia. Wildtype HSC normally repopulated ItpkB-/- hosts, incidating a HSC-intrinsic ItpkB requirement. ItpkB-/- HSC had reduced cobblestone-area forming cell activity in vitro and showed increased stem-cell-factor activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) effector Akt, reversed by exogenous provision of the known PI3K/Akt antagonist IP4. They also showed transcriptome changes consistent with hyperactive Akt/mTOR signaling. Thus, we propose that ItpkB ensures HSC quiescence by limiting cytokine-induced PI3K signaling in HSC. For each of 3 replicate ItpkB-/- or wt samples, we enriched Lin- cells from BM of 4 pooled age-matched mice with Rapidspheres (Stemcell Technologies), FACS-sorted ?10,000 LSK CD34-CD150+CD48-Flk2- LT-HSC into lysis buffer and prepared RNA with RNeasy Micro kits (Quiagen). RNA sequencing was done using an Illumina HISeq Analyzer 2000, Casava v1.8.2 genome analyzer pipeline, TopHat v1.4.1/Bowtie2 genome alignment and Partek v6.6 mRNA annotation software. Statistical analyses were done with edgeR (Bioconductor package), excluding genes with false discovery rates >0.15, fold-change magnitudes ?1.4 and log2(counts per million) ?4 to avoid undefined values and the poorly defined log fold-changes for low counts close to 0. Unsupervised clustering of 441 significantly changed genes was done with dChip using rank correlation and a centroid linkage method. Scatter plots were generated in Spotfire. GSEA was performed with gene set permutation, using gene sets from MSigDB (www.broadinstitute.org/gsea/msigdb/index.jsp) or manually curated from, excluding genes without HUGO approved symbols
Project description:Arhgap21 is a member of the Rho GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP) family, which function as negative regulators of Rho GTPases. Arhgap21 has been implicated in adhesion and migration of cancer cells. However, the role of Arhgap21 has never been investigated in hematopoietic cells. Herein, we evaluated functional aspects of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) using a haploinsufficient (Arhgap21+/-) mouse. Our results show that Arhgap21+/- mice have an increased frequency of phenotypic HSC, impaired ability to form progenitor colonies in vitro and decreased hematopoietic engraftment in vivo, along with a decrease in LSK cell frequency during serial bone marrow transplantation. Arhgap21+/- hematopoietic progenitor cells have impaired adhesion and enhanced mobilization of immature LSK and myeloid progenitors. Arhgap21+/- mice also exhibit reduced erythroid commitment and differentiation, which was recapitulated in human primary cells, in which knockdown of ARHGAP21 in CMP and MEP resulted in decreased erythroid commitment. Finally, we observed enhanced RhoC activity in the bone marrow cells of Arhgap21+/- mice, indicating that Arhgap21 functions in hematopoiesis may be at least partially mediated by RhoC inactivation.
Project description:Emerging evidence demonstrates that megakaryocytes (MK) play key roles in regulating skeletal homeostasis and hematopoiesis. To test if the loss of MK negatively impacts osteoblastogenesis and hematopoiesis, we generated conditional knockout mice where Mpl, the receptor for the main MK growth factor, thrombopoietin, was deleted specifically in MK (Mplf/f;PF4cre). Unexpectedly, at 12 weeks of age, these mice exhibited a 10-fold increase in platelets, a significant expansion of hematopoietic/mesenchymal precursors, and a remarkable 20-fold increase in femoral midshaft bone volume. We then investigated whether MK support hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function through the interaction of MK with osteoblasts (OB). LSK cells (Lin-Sca1+CD117+, enriched HSC population) were co-cultured with OB+MK for 1 week (1wk OB+MK+LSK) or OB alone (1wk OB+LSK). A significant increase in colony-forming units was observed with cells from 1wk OB+MK cultures. Competitive repopulation studies demonstrated significantly higher engraftment in mice transplanted with cells from 1wk OB+MK+LSK cultures compared to 1wk OB+LSK or LSK cultured alone for 1 week. Furthermore, single-cell expression analysis of OB cultured±MK revealed adiponectin as the most significantly upregulated MK-induced gene, which is required for optimal long-term hematopoietic reconstitution. Understanding the interactions between MK, OB, and HSC can inform the development of novel treatments to enhance both HSC recovery following myelosuppressive injuries, as well as bone loss diseases, such as osteoporosis.
Project description:The Core Binding Factor (CBF) protein RUNX1 is a master regulator of definitive hematopoiesis, crucial for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) emergence during ontogeny. RUNX1 also plays vital roles in adult mice, in regulating the correct specification of numerous blood lineages. Akin to the other mammalian Runx genes, Runx1 has two promoters P1 (distal) and P2 (proximal) which generate distinct protein isoforms. The activities and specific relevance of these two promoters in adult hematopoiesis remain to be fully elucidated. Utilizing a dual reporter mouse model we demonstrate that the distal P1 promoter is broadly active in adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) populations. By contrast the activity of the proximal P2 promoter is more restricted and its upregulation, in both the immature Lineage- Sca1high cKithigh (LSK) and bipotential Pre-Megakaryocytic/Erythroid Progenitor (PreMegE) populations, coincides with a loss of erythroid (Ery) specification. Accordingly the PreMegE population can be prospectively separated into "pro-erythroid" and "pro-megakaryocyte" populations based on Runx1 P2 activity. Comparative gene expression analyses between Runx1 P2+ and P2- populations indicated that levels of CD34 expression could substitute for P2 activity to distinguish these two cell populations in wild type (WT) bone marrow (BM). Prospective isolation of these two populations will enable the further investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in megakaryocytic/erythroid (Mk/Ery) cell fate decisions. Having characterized the extensive activity of P1, we utilized a P1-GFP homozygous mouse model to analyze the impact of the complete absence of Runx1 P1 expression in adult mice and observed strong defects in the T cell lineage. Finally, we investigated how the leukemic fusion protein AML1-ETO9a might influence Runx1 promoter usage. Short-term AML1-ETO9a induction in BM resulted in preferential P2 upregulation, suggesting its expression may be important to establish a pre-leukemic environment.
Project description:To develop an effective and sustainable cell therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD), we investigated the feasibility of targeted disruption of the <i>BCL11A</i> gene, either within exon 2 or at the GATAA motif in the intronic erythroid-specific enhancer, using zinc finger nucleases in human bone marrow (BM) CD34<sup>+</sup> hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Both targeting strategies upregulated fetal globin expression in erythroid cells to levels predicted to inhibit hemoglobin S polymerization. However, complete inactivation of <i>BCL11A</i> resulting from bi-allelic frameshift mutations in <i>BCL11A</i> exon 2 adversely affected erythroid enucleation. In contrast, bi-allelic disruption of the GATAA motif in the erythroid enhancer of <i>BCL11A</i> did not negatively impact enucleation. Furthermore, <i>BCL11A</i> exon 2-edited BM-CD34<sup>+</sup> cells demonstrated a significantly reduced engraftment potential in immunodeficient mice. Such an adverse effect on HSPC function was not observed upon <i>BCL11A</i> erythroid-enhancer GATAA motif editing, because enhancer-edited CD34<sup>+</sup> cells achieved robust long-term engraftment and gave rise to erythroid cells with elevated levels of fetal globin expression when chimeric BM was cultured ex vivo. Altogether, our results support further clinical development of the <i>BCL11A</i> erythroid-specific enhancer editing in BM-CD34<sup>+</sup> HSPCs as an autologous stem cell therapy in SCD patients.
Project description:Defining differentiation pathways is central to understanding the pathogenesis of hematopoietic disorders, including leukemia. The function of the receptor tyrosine kinase Flk2 (Flt3) in promoting myeloid development remains poorly defined, despite being commonly mutated in acute myeloid leukemia. We investigated the effect of Flk2 deficiency on myelopoiesis, focusing on specification of progenitors between HSC and mature cells. We provide evidence that Flk2 is critical for proliferative expansion of multipotent progenitors that are common precursors for all lymphoid and myeloid lineages, including megakaryocyte/erythroid (MegE) cells. Flk2 deficiency impaired the generation of both lymphoid and myeloid progenitors by abrogating propagation of their common upstream precursor. At steady state, downstream compensatory mechanisms masked the effect of Flk2 deficiency on mature myeloid output, whereas transplantation of purified progenitors revealed impaired generation of all mature lineages. Flk2 deficiency did not affect lineage choice, thus dissociating the role of Flk2 in promoting cell expansion and regulating cell fate. Surprisingly, despite impairing myeloid development, Flk2 deficiency afforded protection against myeloablative insult. This survival advantage was attributed to reduced cell cycling and proliferation of progenitors in Flk2-deficient mice. Our data support the existence of a common Flk2(+) intermediate for all hematopoietic lineages and provide insight into how activating Flk2 mutations promote hematopoietic malignancy by non-Flk2-expressing myeloid cells.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation has been widely applied to the treatment of malignant blood diseases. However, limited number of functional HSCs hinders successful transplantation. The purpose of our current study is to develop a new and cost-efficient medium formulation that could greatly enhance the expansion of HSCs while retaining their long-term repopulation and hematopoietic properties for effective clinical transplantation.<h4>Methods</h4>Enriched human CD34<sup>+</sup> cells and mobilized nonhuman primate peripheral blood CD34<sup>+</sup> cells were expanded with a new, cost-efficient expansion medium formulation, named hematopoietic expansion medium (HEM), consisting of various cytokines and nutritional supplements. The long-term repopulation potential and hematologic-lineage differentiation ability of expanded human cells were studied in the non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mouse model. Furthermore, the efficacy and safety studies were performed by autologous transplantation of expanded primate cells in the nonhuman primate model.<h4>Results</h4>HEM could effectively expand human CD34<sup>+</sup> cells by up to 129 fold within 9?days. Expanded HSCs retained long-term repopulation potential and hematologic-lineage differentiation ability, as indicated by (1) maintenance (over unexpanded HSCs) of immunophenotypes of CD38<sup>-</sup>CD90<sup>+</sup>CD45RA<sup>-</sup>CD49f<sup>+</sup> in CD34<sup>+</sup> cells after expansion; (2) significant presence of multiple human hematopoietic lineages in mouse peripheral blood and bone marrow following primary transplantation; (3) enrichment (over unexpanded HSCs) in SCID-repopulating cell frequency measured by limiting dilution analysis; and (4) preservation of both myeloid and lymphoid potential among human leukocytes from mouse bone marrow in week 24 after primary transplantation or secondary transplantation. Moreover, the results of autologous transplantation in nonhuman primates demonstrated that HEM-expanded CD34<sup>+</sup> cells could enhance hematological recovery after myelo-suppression. All primates transplanted with the expanded autologous CD34<sup>+</sup> cells survived for over 18?months without any noticeable abnormalities.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Together, these findings demonstrate promising potential for the utility of HEM to improve expansion of HSCs for clinical application.
Project description:Although a large proportion of patients with polycythemia vera (PV) harbor a valine-to-phenylalanine mutation at amino acid 617 (V617F) in the JAK2 signaling molecule, the stage of hematopoiesis at which the mutation arises is unknown. Here we isolated and characterized hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and myeloid progenitors from 16 PV patient samples and 14 normal individuals, testing whether the JAK2 mutation could be found at the level of stem or progenitor cells and whether the JAK2 V617F-positive cells had altered differentiation potential. In all PV samples analyzed, there were increased numbers of cells with a HSC phenotype (CD34+CD38-CD90+Lin-) compared with normal samples. Hematopoietic progenitor assays demonstrated that the differentiation potential of PV was already skewed toward the erythroid lineage at the HSC level. The JAK2 V617F mutation was detectable within HSC and their progeny in PV. Moreover, the aberrant erythroid potential of PV HSC was potently inhibited with a JAK2 inhibitor, AG490.
Project description:Megakaryocytes and erythroid cells are thought to derive from a common progenitor during hematopoietic differentiation. Although a number of transcriptional regulators are important for this process, they do not explain the bipotential result. We now show by gain- and loss-of-function studies that erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF), a transcription factor whose role in erythroid gene regulation is well established, plays an unexpected directive role in the megakaryocyte lineage. EKLF inhibits the formation of megakaryocytes while at the same time stimulating erythroid differentiation. Quantitative examination of expression during hematopoiesis shows that, unlike genes whose presence is required for establishment of both lineages, EKLF is uniquely down-regulated in megakaryocytes after formation of the megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitor. Expression profiling and molecular analyses support these observations and suggest that megakaryocytic inhibition is achieved, at least in part, by EKLF repression of Fli-1 message levels.