Lnk negatively regulates self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells by modifying thrombopoietin-mediated signal transduction.

Laboratory of Stem Cell Therapy, Center for Experimental Medicine, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2007; 104(7):2349-54. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0606238104
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One of the central tasks of stem cell biology is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control self-renewal in stem cells. Several cytokines are implicated as crucial regulators of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), but little is known about intracellular signaling for HSC self-renewal. To address this issue, we attempted to clarify how self-renewal potential is enhanced in HSCs without the adaptor molecule Lnk, as in Lnk-deficient mice HSCs are expanded in number >10-fold because of their increased self-renewal potential. We show that Lnk negatively regulates self-renewal of HSCs by modifying thrombopoietin (TPO)-mediated signal transduction. Single-cell cultures showed that Lnk-deficient HSCs are hypersensitive to TPO. Competitive repopulation revealed that long-term repopulating activity increases in Lnk-deficient HSCs, but not in WT HSCs, when these cells are cultured in the presence of TPO with or without stem cell factor. Single-cell transplantation of each of the paired daughter cells indicated that a combination of stem cell factor and TPO efficiently induces symmetrical self-renewal division in Lnk-deficient HSCs but not in WT HSCs. Newly developed single-cell immunostaining demonstrated significant enhancement of both p38 MAPK inactivation and STAT5 and Akt activation in Lnk-deficient HSCs after stimulation with TPO. Our results suggest that a balance in positive and negative signals downstream from the TPO signal plays a role in the regulation of the probability of self-renewal in HSCs. In general, likewise, the fate of stem cells may be determined by combinational changes in multiple signal transduction pathways.

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