Identification of gene networks associated with erythroid differentiation.
ABSTRACT Erythropoiesis is a multistep process involving a large number of genes, which balance between proliferation, differentiation and survival of the erythroid cells. To understand the molecular mechanisms of erythropoiesis and related pathological aberrations, we analyzed three stages of in vitro differentiating human erythroid cells by expression profiling. We identified distinct clusters of genes, each with a unique expression pattern during differentiation. As JAK2 was shown to play a central role in myeloproliferative disorders, we focused on one cluster which includes JAK2 and other genes with high correlation to JAK2 expression. These genes had a low expression at the early erythroblast which increased in the intermediate stage and further slightly increased in the last stage of differentiation. Our results indicate that gene networks may associate with JAK2 expression in erythroid differentiation. It is intriguing to determine whether the pathogenesis of polycythemia vera (PV), harboring a common or uncommon JAK2 mutation, involves alterations in independent gene pathways that underlie the normal erythropoietic process.
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ABSTRACT: The fetal and adult globin genes in the human β-globin cluster on chromosome 11 are sequentially expressed to achieve normal hemoglobin switching during human development. The pharmacological induction of fetal γ-globin (HBG) to replace abnormal adult sickle βS-globin is a successful strategy to treat sickle cell disease; however the molecular mechanism of γ-gene silencing after birth is not fully understood. Therefore, we performed global gene expression profiling using primary erythroid progenitors grown from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to characterize gene expression patterns during the γ-globin to β-globin (γ/β) switch observed throughout in vitro erythroid differentiation. We confirmed erythroid maturation in our culture system using cell morphologic features defined by Giemsa staining and the γ/β-globin switch by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis. We observed maximal γ-globin expression at day 7 with a switch to a predominance of β-globin expression by day 28 and the γ/β-globin switch occurred around day 21. Expression patterns for transcription factors including GATA1, GATA2, KLF1 and NFE2 confirmed our system produced the expected pattern of expression based on the known function of these factors in globin gene regulation. Subsequent gene expression profiling was performed with RNA isolated from progenitors harvested at day 7, 14, 21, and 28 in culture. Three major gene profiles were generated by Principal Component Analysis (PCA). For profile-1 genes, where expression decreased from day 7 to day 28, we identified 2,102 genes down-regulated > 1.5-fold. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) for profile-1 genes demonstrated involvement of the Cdc42, phospholipase C, NF-Kβ, Interleukin-4, and p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Transcription factors known to be involved in γ-and β-globin regulation were identified.The same approach was used to generate profile-2 genes where expression was up-regulated over 28 days in culture. IPA for the 2,437 genes with > 1.5-fold induction identified the mitotic roles of polo-like kinase, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, cell cycle control, and ATM (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Protein) signaling pathways; transcription factors identified included KLF1, GATA1 and NFE2 among others. Finally, profile-3 was generated from 1,579 genes with maximal expression at day 21, around the time of the γ/β-globin switch. IPA identified associations with cell cycle control, ATM, and aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling pathways. The transcriptome analysis completed with erythroid progenitors grown in vitro identified groups of genes with distinct expression profiles, which function in metabolic pathways associated with cell survival, hematopoiesis, blood cells activation, and inflammatory responses. This study represents the first report of a transcriptome analysis in human primary erythroid progenitors to identify transcription factors involved in hemoglobin switching. Our results also demonstrate that the in vitro liquid culture system is an excellent model to define mechanisms of global gene expression and the DNA-binding protein and signaling pathways involved in globin gene regulation.BMC Genomics 04/2012; 13:153. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To globally survey the changes in transcriptional landscape during terminal erythroid differentiation, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) on primary human CD34(+) cells after ex vivo differentiation from the earliest into the most mature erythroid cell stages. This analysis identified thousands of novel intergenic and intronic transcripts as well as novel alternative transcript isoforms. After rigorous data filtering, 51 (presumptive) novel protein-coding transcripts, 5,326 long and 679 small non-coding RNA candidates remained. The analysis also revealed two clear transcriptional trends during terminal erythroid differentiation: first, that the complexity of transcript diversity was predominantly achieved by alternative splicing, and second, that splicing junctional diversity diminished during erythroid differentiation. Finally, 404 genes that were not known previously to be differentially expressed in erythroid cells were annotated. Analysis of the most extremely differentially expressed transcripts revealed that these gene products were all closely associated with hematopoietic lineage differentiation. Taken together, this study will serve as a comprehensive platform for future in-depth investigation of human erythroid development that, in turn, may reveal new insights into multiple layers of the transcriptional regulatory hierarchy that controls erythropoiesis.Human Molecular Genetics 04/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Erythropoiesis is a tightly regulated process which becomes decoupled from its normal differentiation program in patients with polycythemia vera (PV). Somatic mutations in JAK2 are commonly associated with this myeloid proliferative disorder. To gain insight into the molecular events that are required for abnormally developing erythroid cells to escape dependence on normal growth signals, we performed in vitro expansion of mature erythroblasts (ERY) from 7 normal healthy donors and from 7 polycythemic patients in the presence of IL3, EPO, SCF for 10, 11 or 13 days. Normal ERYs required exposure to the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) for expansion, while PV-derived ERYs expanded in the absence of dexamethasone. RNA expression profiling revealed enrichment of two known oncogenes, GPR56 and RAB4a, in PV-derived ERYs along with reduced expression levels of transcription factor TAL1 (ANOVA FDR < 0.05). While both normal and polycythemic-derived ERYs integrated signaling cascades for growth, they did so via different signaling pathways which are represented by their differential phospho-profiles. Our results show that normal ERYs displayed greater levels of phosphorylation of EGFR, PDGFRβ, TGFβ and cKit, while PV-derived ERYs were characterized by increased phosphorylation of cytoplasmic kinases in the JAK/STAT, PI3K and GATA1 pathways. Together these data suggest that PV erythroblast expansion and maturation may be maintained and enriched in the absence of dexamethasone through reduced TAL1 expression and by accessing additional signaling cascades. Members of this acquired repertoire may provide important insight into the pathogenesis of aberrant erythropoiesis in myeloproliferative neoplasms such as polycythemia vera.American Journal of Hematology 05/2013; · 4.00 Impact Factor