Role of SALL4 in hematopoiesis.
ABSTRACT Stem cell gene SALL4 has been well characterized for its essential role in developmental events as well as embryonic stem cell pluripotency maintenance. Several current reports now shed new light on its functions in regulating hematopoietic cell self-renewal and differentiation. In this review we attempt to summarize SALL4 roles for normal hematopoiesis, and how the knowledge obtained can be used to develop advanced cell therapies.
SALL4 may act as a critical controller to regulate the fate of hematopoietic cells. In normal bone marrow, SALL4 is selectively expressed in primitive hematopoietic precursors and rapidly downregulated following differentiation. Of particular interest, SALL4 isoforms are able to stimulate large scale ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSCs/HPCs). The SALL4 expanded HSCs/HPCs retain multilineage repopulation and long-term engraftment activities, which are clinically meaningful. The stem cell self-renewal mediated by SALL4 is linked to epigenetic machinery.
The emerging knowledge about how SALL4 regulates HSC behavior may be used in the near future to develop advanced cell therapies, for example, through large-scale stem cell expansion ex vivo.
- SourceAvailable from: Li Chai[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of heterogeneous diseases with variable clinical course. Predicting disease progression is difficult due to lack of specific molecular marker(s). SALL4 plays important roles in normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis. SALL4 transgenic mice develop MDS prior to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transformation. However, the role of SALL4 in human MDS has not been extensively investigated. In this study, we evaluate the diagnostic/prognostic value of SALL4 in MDS by examining its expression levels in a cohort of MDS patients. Fifty-five newly diagnosed MDS, twenty MDS-AML, and sixteen post-treatment MDS patients were selected for our study along with ten healthy donors. We demonstrated that SALL4 was over-expressed in MDS patients and proportionally increased in MDS patients with high grade/IPSS scores. This expression pattern was similar to that of Bmi-1, an important marker in predicting MDS/AML progression. In addition, the level of SALL4 was positively correlated with increased blast counts, high-risk keryotypes and increased significantly in MDS-AML transformation. Furthermore, higher level of SALL4 expression was associated with worse survival rates and SALL4 level decreased following effective therapy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest series and the first to report the expression pattern of SALL4 in detail in various subtypes of MDS in comparison to that of Bmi-1. We conclude that SALL4 is a potential molecular marker in predicting the prognosis of MDS.Journal of Hematology & Oncology 09/2013; 6(1):73. · 4.93 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: SALL4B plays a critical role in maintaining the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells. SALL4B primarily functions as a transcription factor, and, thus, its nuclear localization is paramount to its biological activities. To understand the structural basis by which SALL4B was transported and retained in the nucleus, we made a series of SALL4B constructs with deletions or point mutations. We found that K64R mutation resulted in a random distribution of SALL4B within the cell. An analysis of neighboring amino acid sequences revealed that (64)KRLR (67) in SALL4B matches exactly with the canonical nuclear localization signal (K-K/R-x-K/R). SALL4B fragment (a.a. 50-109) that contained KRLR was sufficient for targeting GFP-tagged SALL4B to the nucleus, whereas K64R mutation led to a random distribution of GFP-SALL4B signal within the cell. We further demonstrated that the nuclear localization was essential for transactivating luciferase reporter gene driven by OCT4 promoter, a known transcriptional target of SALL4B. Therefore, our study identifies the KRLR sequence as a bona fide nuclear localization signal for SALL4B.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 03/2014; 13(9). · 5.24 Impact Factor
Article: SALL4: Engine of Cell Stemness.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The spalt (sal) family is a class of evolutionarily conserved genes originally identified in Drosophila as homeotic genes required for embryonic development. In vertebrates, the expression of sal-like 4 (SALL4) is specifically enriched in both embryonic and adult stem/stem-like cells. SALL4 is a master regulator that contributes to cell stemness in biological development and tumor growth. Thus, Sall4 has emerged as a target for gene therapy. In addition, numerous mutations affecting the Sall4 gene have been discovered and clinically linked to a series of congenital abnormalities, such as Duane/Duane-related syndromes, ventricular septal defect and premature ovarian failure. This review delineates the underlying mechanisms of key functions of SALL4 and its use as a target for gene therapy. Finally, I summarize and discuss advances made on the application of Sall4 and its functions in diagnostics and treatments for human diseases.Current Gene Therapy 08/2014; · 4.91 Impact Factor