SCL/TAL1 expression level regulates human hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and engraftment

Department of Hematology, Institut Cochin, U567 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) UMR 8104, Paris, France.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.43). 11/2005; 106(7):2318-28. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2005-02-0557
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The fate of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is regulated through a combinatorial action of proteins that determine their self-renewal and/or their commitment to differentiation. Stem cell leukemia/T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia 1 (SCL/TAL1), a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, plays key roles in controlling the development of primitive and definitive hematopoiesis during mouse development but its function in adult HSCs is still a matter of debate. We report here that the lentiviral-mediated enforced expression of TAL1 in human CD34+ cells marginally affects in vitro the differentiation of committed progenitors, whereas in vivo the repopulation capacity of the long-term SCID (severe combined immunodeficient) mouse-repopulating cells (LT-SRCs) is enhanced. As a consequence, the production of SRC-derived multipotent progenitors as well as erythroid- and myeloid-differentiated cells is increased. Looking at the lymphoid compartment, constitutive TAL1-enforced expression impairs B- but not T-cell differentiation. Expression of a mutant TAL1 protein that cannot bind DNA specifically impairs human LT-SRC amplification, indicating a DNA-binding dependent effect of TAL1 on primitive cell populations. These results indicate that TAL1 expression level regulates immature human hematopoietic cell self-renewal and that this regulation requires TAL1 DNA-binding activity.