A splicing factor switch controls hematopoietic lineage specification of pluripotent stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing (AS) leads to transcriptome diversity in eukaryotic cells and is one of the key regulators driving cellular differentiation. Although AS is of crucial importance for normal hematopoiesis and hematopoietic malignancies, its role in early hematopoietic development is still largely unknown. Here, by using high-throughput transcriptomic analyses, we show that pervasive and dynamic AS takes place during hematopoietic development of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). We identify a splicing factor switch that occurs during the differentiation of mesodermal cells to endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Perturbation of this switch selectively impairs the emergence of EPCs and hemogenic endothelial progenitor cells (HEPs). Mechanistically, an EPC-induced alternative spliced isoform of NUMB dictates EPC specification by controlling NOTCH signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the splicing factor SRSF2 regulates splicing of the EPC-induced NUMB isoform, and the SRSF2-NUMB-NOTCH splicing axis regulates EPC generation. The identification of this splicing factor switch provides a new molecular mechanism to control cell fate and lineage specification.
Project description:Alternative splicing (AS) leads to transcriptome diversity in eukaryotic cells and is one of the key regulators driving cellular differentiation. Although AS is of crucial importance for normal hematopoiesis and hematopoietic malignancies, its role in early hematopoietic development is still largely unknown. Here, by using high-throughput transcriptomic analyses, we show that pervasive and dynamic AS takes place during hematopoietic development of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). We identify a splicing factor switch that occurs during the differentiation of mesodermal cells to endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Perturbation of this switch selectively impairs the emergence of EPCs and hemogenic endothelial progenitor cells (HEPs). Mechanistically, an EPC-induced alternative spliced isoform of NUMB dictates EPC specification by precisely controlling NOTCH signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the splicing factor SRSF2 regulates splicing of the EPC-induced NUMB isoform, and the SRSF2-NUMB-NOTCH splicing axis regulates EPC generation. The identification of this splicing factor switch provides a new molecular mechanism to control cell-fate and lineage specification.
Project description:The Notch signaling pathway plays an essential role in the regulation of cell specification by controlling differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Numb is an intrinsic regulator of the Notch pathway and exists in four alternative splice variants that differ in the length of their phosphotyrosine-binding domain (PTB) and proline-rich region domains. The physiological relevance of the existence of the Numb splice variants and their exact regulation are still poorly understood. We previously reported that Numb switches from isoforms containing the insertion in PTB to isoforms lacking this insertion in neuronal cells subjected to trophic factor withdrawal (TFW). The functional relevance of the TFW-induced switch in Numb isoforms is not known. Here we provide evidence that the TFW-induced switch in Numb isoforms regulates Notch signaling strength and Notch target gene expression. PC12 cells stably overexpressing Numb isoforms lacking the PTB insertion exhibited higher basal Notch activity and Notch-dependent transcription of the transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) when compared with those overexpressing Numb isoforms with the PTB insertion. The differential regulation of TRPC6 expression is correlated with perturbed calcium signaling and increased neuronal vulnerability to TFW-induced death. Pharmacological inhibition of the Notch pathway or knockdown of TRPC6 function ameliorates the adverse effects caused by the TFW-induced switch in Numb isoforms. Taken together, our results indicate that Notch and Numb interaction may influence the sensitivity of neuronal cells to injurious stimuli by modulating calcium-dependent apoptotic signaling cascades.
Project description:Notch signaling is involved in cell fate decisions during murine vascular development and hematopoiesis in the microenvironment of bone marrow. To investigate the close relationship between hematopoietic stem cells and human endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in the bone marrow niche, we examined the effects of Notch signals [Jagged-1 and Delta-like ligand (Dll)-1] on the proliferation and differentiation of human CD133+ cell-derived EPCs. We established stromal systems using HESS-5 murine bone marrow cells transfected with human Jagged-1 (hJagged-1) or human Dll-1 (hDll-1). CD133+ cord blood cells were co-cultured with the stromal cells for 7 days, and then their proliferation, differentiation, and EPC colony formation was evaluated. We found that hJagged-1 induced the proliferation and differentiation of CD133+ cord blood EPCs. In contrast, hDll-1 had little effect. CD133+ cells stimulated by hJagged-1 differentiated into CD31+/KDR+ cells, expressed vascular endothelial growth factor-A, and showed enhanced EPC colony formation compared with CD133+ cells stimulated by hDll-1. To evaluate the angiogenic properties of hJagged-1- and hDll-1-stimulated EPCs in vivo, we transplanted these cells into the ischemic hindlimbs of nude mice. Transplantation of EPCs stimulated by hJagged-1, but not hDll-1, increased regional blood flow and capillary density in ischemic hindlimb muscles. This is the first study to show that human Notch signaling influences EPC proliferation and differentiation in the bone marrow microenvironment. Human Jagged-1 induced the proliferation and differentiation of CD133+ cord blood progenitors compared with hDll-1. Thus, hJagged-1 signaling in the bone marrow niche may be used to expand EPCs for therapeutic angiogenesis.
Project description:The Notch cell-cell signaling pathway is used extensively in cell fate specification during metazoan development. In many cell lineages, the conditional role of Notch signaling is integrated with the autonomous action of the Numb protein, a Notch pathway antagonist. During Drosophila sensory bristle development, precursor cells segregate Numb asymmetrically to one of their progeny cells, rendering it unresponsive to reciprocal Notch signaling between the two daughters. This ensures that one daughter adopts a Notch-independent, and the other a Notch-dependent, cell fate. In a genome-wide survey for potential Notch pathway targets, the second intron of the numb gene was found to contain a statistically significant cluster of binding sites for Suppressor of Hairless, the transducing transcription factor for the pathway. We show that this region contains a Notch-responsive cis-regulatory module that directs numb transcription in the pIIa and pIIIb cells of the bristle lineage. These are the two precursor cells that do not inherit Numb, yet must make Numb to segregate to one daughter during their own division. Our findings reveal a new mechanism by which conditional and autonomous modes of fate specification are integrated within cell lineages.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Despite the crucial role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular regeneration, the specific interactions between EPCs and hematopoietic cells remain unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>In EPC colony forming assays, we first demonstrated that the formation of EPC colonies was drastically increased in the coculture of CD34+ and CD34- cells, and determined the optimal concentrations of CD34+ cells and CD34- cells for spindle-shaped EPC differentiation.<h4>Results</h4>Functionally, the coculture of CD34+ and CD34- cells resulted in a significant enhancement of adhesion, tube formation, and migration capacity compared with culture of CD34+ cells alone. Furthermore, blood flow recovery and capillary formation were remarkably increased by the coculture of CD34+ and CD34- cells in a murine hind-limb ischemia model. To elucidate further the role of hematopoietic cells in EPC differentiation, we isolated different populations of hematopoietic cells. T lymphocytes (CD3+) markedly accelerated the early EPC status of CD34+ cells, while macrophages (CD11b+) or megakaryocytes (CD41+) specifically promoted large EPC colonies.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results suggest that specific populations of hematopoietic cells play a role in the EPC differentiation of CD34+ cells, a finding that may aid in the development of a novel cell therapy strategy to overcome the quantitative and qualitative limitations of EPC therapy.
Project description:Acute high-dose radiation injury damages the bone marrow hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell compartment. This damage compromises the functional ability of the bone marrow to produce mature blood cells and results in an increased risk of death due to hematopoietic complications. Past work has shown that the bone marrow endothelium provides critical cues, which promote hematopoietic stem cell regeneration after injury. Additionally, transfusion of endothelial cells after radiation injury has been shown to promote recovery of both the bone marrow vasculature and hematopoietic systems. In this work, we examined the regenerative capacity of intravenous infusion of umbilical cord-blood derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) since this is a cell source which is easy to obtain, expand and cryopreserve. We show that pre-treatment with the Wnt-antagonist Dickkopf1 (Dkk1) augments EPC regenerative function in an allogeneic mouse transplant model. Here, hematopoietic recovery was assessed in Balb/c mice after 5 Gy total-body irradiation and transplantation with C57/BL6-derived EPCs either with or without Dkk1 pre-treatment. The Dkk1-treated EPC group had significantly faster recovery of peripheral white blood cells, total bone marrow cellularity, bone marrow progenitors and BM endothelial cells compared to EPC treatment alone or saline controls. Importantly, after an LD50/30 dose of 8 Gy in the Balb/c mouse, Dkk1-treated EPCs were able to rescue 100% of irradiated mice versus 80% in the EPC control group and only 33% in the saline-treated group. To understand how Dkk1 induces regenerative function in the EPCs, we screened for pro-regenerative factors secreted by the EPC in response to Dkk1. Dkk1-treated EPCs were observed to secrete high levels of the anti-fibrotic protein follistatin as well as several proteins known to promote regeneration including EGF, VEGF and G-CSF. This work demonstrates the potential for Dkk1-treated EPCs as a rescue therapeutic for victims of acute radiation injury.
Project description:Activation of the Notch signaling pathway segregates the non-skeletogenic mesoderm (NSM) from the endomesoderm during sea urchin embryo development. Subsequently, Notch signaling helps specify the four subpopulations of NSM, and influences endoderm specification. To gain further insight into how the Notch signaling pathway is regulated during these cell specification events, we identified a sea urchin homologue of Numb (LvNumb). Previous work in other model systems showed that Numb functions as a Notch signaling pathway antagonist, possibly by mediating the endocytosis of other key Notch interacting proteins. In this study, we show that the vegetal endomesoderm expresses lvnumb during the blastula and gastrula stages, and that the protein is localized to the presumptive NSM. Injections of lvnumb mRNA and antisense morpholinos demonstrate that LvNumb is necessary for the specification of mesodermal cell types, including pigment cells, blastocoelar cells and muscle cells. Functional analysis of the N-terminal PTB domain and the C-terminal PRR domain of LvNumb shows that the PTB domain, but not the PRR domain, is sufficient to recapitulate the demonstrable function of full-length LvNumb. Experiments show that LvNumb requires an active Notch signal to function during NSM specification and that LvNumb functions in the cells responding to Delta and not in the cells presenting the Delta ligand. Furthermore, injection of mRNA encoding the intracellular domain of Notch rescues the LvNumb morpholino phenotype, suggesting that the constitutive intracellular Notch signal overcomes, or bypasses, the absence of Numb during NSM specification.
Project description:Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are incorporated into foci of neovascularization where they undergo differentiation to mature endothelial cells (ECs). We show here that the enzyme sphingosine kinase-1 (SK-1) regulates the rate and direction of EPC differentiation without effect on the hematopoietic compartment. EPCs have high levels of SK-1 activity, which diminishes with differentiation and is, at least partially, responsible for maintaining their EPC phenotype. EPCs from SK-1 knockout mice form more adherent EC units and acquire a mature EC phenotype more rapidly. Conversely, EPCs from mice overexpressing SK-1 in the EC compartment are retarded in their differentiation. Exogenous regulation of SK-1 levels in normal EPCs, by genetic and pharmacologic means, including the immunomodulating drug FTY720, recapitulates these effects on EC differentiation. SK-1 knockout mice have higher levels of circulating EPCs, an exaggerated response to erythropoietin-induced EPC mobilization, and, in a mouse model of kidney ischemia reperfusion injury, exhibit a recovery similar to that of ischemic mice administered exogenous EPCs. Thus, SK-1 is a critical player in EPC differentiation into EC pointing to the potential utility of SK-1 modifying agents in the specific manipulation of endothelial development and repair.
Project description:Ischemic heart disease is currently a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Nevertheless, the actual therapeutic scenario does not target myocardial cell regeneration and consequently, the progression toward the late stage of chronic heart failure is common. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived stem cells that contribute to the homeostasis of the endothelial wall in acute and chronic ischemic disease. Calcium modulation and other molecular pathways (NOTCH, VEGFR, and CXCR4) contribute to EPC proliferation and differentiation. The present review provides a summary of EPC biology with a particular focus on the regulatory pathways of EPCs and describes promising applications for cardiovascular cell therapy.
Project description:Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of neoplasms characterized by ineffective myeloid hematopoiesis and various risks for leukemia. SRSF2, a member of the serine/arginine-rich (SR) family of splicing factors, is one of the mutation targets associated with poor survival in patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndromes. Here we report the biological function of SRSF2 in hematopoiesis by using conditional knockout mouse models. Ablation of SRSF2 in the hematopoietic lineage caused embryonic lethality, and Srsf2-deficient fetal liver cells showed significantly enhanced apoptosis and decreased levels of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Induced ablation of SRSF2 in adult Mx1-Cre Srsf2(flox/flox) mice upon poly(I):poly(C) injection demonstrated a significant decrease in lineage(-) Sca(+) c-Kit(+) cells in bone marrow. To reveal the functional impact of myelodysplastic syndromes-associated mutations in SRSF2, we analyzed splicing responses on the MSD-L cell line and found that the missense mutation of proline 95 to histidine (P95H) and a P95-to-R102 in-frame 8-amino-acid deletion caused significant changes in alternative splicing. The affected genes were enriched in cancer development and apoptosis. These findings suggest that intact SRSF2 is essential for the functional integrity of the hematopoietic system and that its mutations likely contribute to development of myelodysplastic syndromes.