[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cutaneous fibrofolliculomas, pulmonary cysts, and kidney malignancies. Affected individuals carry germ line mutations in folliculin (FLCN), a tumor suppressor gene that becomes biallelically inactivated in kidney tumors by second-hit mutations. Similar to other factors implicated in kidney cancer, FLCN has been shown to modulate activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). However, its precise in vivo function is largely unknown because germ line deletion of Flcn results in early embryonic lethality in animal models. Here, we describe mice deficient in the newly characterized folliculin-interacting protein 1 (Fnip1). In contrast to Flcn, Fnip1(-/-) mice develop normally, are not susceptible to kidney neoplasia, but display a striking pro-B cell block that is entirely independent of mTOR activity. We show that this developmental arrest results from rapid caspase-induced pre-B cell death, and that a Bcl2 transgene reconstitutes mature B-cell populations, respectively. We also demonstrate that conditional deletion of Flcn recapitulates the pro-B cell arrest of Fnip1(-/-) mice. Our studies thus demonstrate that the FLCN-FNIP complex deregulated in BHD syndrome is absolutely required for B-cell differentiation, and that it functions through both mTOR-dependent and independent pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their immediate progeny is maintained by the interaction with cells in the microenvironment. We found that hematopoiesis was dysregulated in Id1(-/-) mice. Although the frequency of HSCs in Id1(-/-) bone marrow was increased, their total numbers remained unchanged as the result of decreased bone marrow cellularity. In addition, the ability of Id1(-/-) HSCs to self-renew was normal, suggesting Id1 does not affect HSC function. Id1(-/-) progenitors showed increased cycling in vivo but not in vitro, suggesting cell nonautonomous mechanisms for the increased cycling. Id1(-/-) HSCs developed normally when transplanted into Id1(+/+) mice, whereas the development of Id1(+/+) HSCs was impaired in Id1(-/-) recipients undergoing transplantation and reproduced the hematologic features of Id1(-/-) mice, indicating that the Id1(-/-) microenvironment cannot support normal hematopoietic development. Id1(-/-) stromal cells showed altered production of cytokines in vitro, and cytokine levels were deregulated in vivo, which could account for the Id1(-/-) hematopoietic phenotypes. Thus, Id1 is required for regulating the hematopoietic progenitor cell niche but is dispensable for maintaining HSCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibitors of DNA binding (Id) family members are key regulators of cellular differentiation and proliferation. These activities are related to the ability of Id proteins to antagonize E proteins and other transcription factors. As negative regulators of E proteins, Id proteins have been implicated in lymphocyte development. Overexpression of Id1, Id2, or Id3 has similar effects on lymphocyte development. However, which Id protein plays a physiologic role during lymphocyte development is not clear. By analyzing Id2 knock-out mice and retroviral transduced hematopoietic progenitors, we demonstrated that Id2 is an intrinsic negative regulator of B-cell development. Hematopoietic progenitor cells overexpressing Id2 did not reconstitute B-cell development in vivo, which resembled the phenotype of E2A null mice. The B-cell population in bone marrow was significantly expanded in Id2 knock-out mice compared with their wild-type littermates. Knock-down of Id2 by shRNA in hematopoietic progenitor cells promoted B-cell differentiation and induced the expression of B-cell lineage-specific genes. These data identified Id2 as a physiologically relevant regulator of E2A during B lymphopoiesis. Furthermore, we identified a novel Id2 function in erythroid development. Overexpression of Id2 enhanced erythroid development, and decreased level of Id2 impaired normal erythroid development. Id2 regulation of erythroid development is mediated via interacting with transcription factor PU.1 and modulating PU.1 and GATA-1 activities. We conclude that Id2 regulates lymphoid and erythroid development via interaction with different target proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Id1 is frequently overexpressed in many cancer cells, but the functional significance of these findings is not known. To determine if Id1 could contribute to the development of hematopoietic malignancy, we reconstituted mice with hematopoietic cells overexpressing Id1. We showed for the first time that deregulated expression of Id1 leads to a myeloproliferative disease in mice, and immortalizes myeloid progenitors in vitro. In human cells, we demonstrate that Id genes are expressed in human acute myelogenous leukemia cells, and that knock down of Id1 expression inhibits leukemic cell line growth, suggesting that Id1 is required for leukemic cell proliferation. These findings established a causal relationship between Id1 overexpression and hematologic malignancy. Thus, deregulated expression of Id1 may contribute to the initiation of myeloid malignancy, and Id1 may represent a potential therapeutic target for early stage intervention in the treatment of hematopoietic malignancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic malignancies are frequently associated with DNA hypomethylation but the molecular mechanisms involved in tumor formation remain poorly understood. Here we report that mice lacking Lsh develop leukemia associated with DNA hypomethylation and oncogene activation. Lsh is a member of the SNF2 chromatin remodeling family and is required for de novo methylation of genomic DNA. Mice that received Lsh deficient hematopoietic progenitors showed severe impairment of hematopoiesis, suggesting that Lsh is necessary for normal hematopoiesis. A subset of mice developed erythroleukemia, a tumor that does not spontaneously occur in mice. Tumor tissues were CpG hypomethylated and showed a modest elevation of the transcription factor PU.1, an oncogene that is crucial for Friend virus induced erythroleukemia. Analysis of Lsh(-/-) hematopoietic progenitors revealed widespread DNA hypomethylation at repetitive sequences and hypomethylation at specific retroviral elements within the PU.1 gene. Wild type cells showed Lsh and Dnmt3b binding at the retroviral elements located within the PU.1 gene. On the other hand, Lsh deficient cells had no detectable Dnmt3b association suggesting that Lsh is necessary for recruitment of Dnmt3b to its target. Furthermore, Lsh(-/-) hematopoietic precursors showed impaired suppression of retroviral elements in the PU.1 gene, an increase of PU.1 transcripts and protein levels. Thus DNA hypomethylation caused by Lsh depletion is linked to transcriptional upregulation of retroviral elements and oncogenes such as PU.1 which in turn may promote the development of erythroleukemia in mice.
Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2008; 3(3):134-42. DOI:10.4161/epi.3.3.6252 · 4.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C/EBPalpha is an essential transcription factor required for myeloid differentiation. While C/EBPalpha can act as a cell fate switch to promote granulocyte differentiation in bipotential granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMPs), its role in regulating cell fate decisions in more primitive progenitors is not known. We found increased numbers of erythroid progenitors and erythroid cells in C/EBPalpha(-/-) fetal liver (FL). Also, enforced expression of C/EBPalpha in hematopoietic stem cells resulted in a loss of erythroid progenitors and an increase in myeloid cells by inhibition of erythroid development and inducing myeloid differentiation. Conditional expression of C/EBPalpha in murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells induced myeloid-specific genes, while inhibiting erythroid-specific gene expression including erythropoietin receptor (EpoR), which suggests a novel mechanism to determine hematopoietic cell fate. Thus, C/EBPalpha functions in hematopoietic cell fate decisions by the dual actions of inhibiting erythroid and inducing myeloid gene expression in multipotential progenitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mouse knockouts of Cdk2 and Cdk4 have demonstrated that, individually, these genes are not essential for viability. To investigate whether there is functional redundancy, we have generated double knockout (DKO) mice. Cdk2-/- Cdk4-/- DKOs die during embryogenesis around E15 as a result of heart defects. We observed a gradual decrease of Retinoblastoma protein (Rb) phosphorylation and reduced expression of E2F-target genes, like Cdc2 and cyclin A2, during embryogenesis and in embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). DKO MEFs are characterized by a decreased proliferation rate, impaired S phase entry, and premature senescence. HPV-E7-mediated inactivation of Rb restored normal expression of E2F-inducible genes, senescence, and proliferation in DKO MEFs. In contrast, loss of p27 did not rescue Cdk2-/- Cdk4-/- phenotypes. Our results demonstrate that Cdk2 and Cdk4 cooperate to phosphorylate Rb in vivo and to couple the G1/S phase transition to mitosis via E2F-dependent regulation of gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CCAAT enhancer binding protein-alpha (C/EBPalpha) inhibits proliferation in multiple cell types; therefore, we evaluated whether C/EBPalpha-deficient hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) have an increased proliferative potential in vitro and in vivo. In this study we demonstrate that C/EBPalpha(-/-) fetal liver (FL) progenitors are hyperproliferative, show decreased differentiation potential, and show increased self-renewal capacity in response to hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs). There are fewer committed bipotential progenitors in C/EBPalpha(-/-) FL, whereas multipotential progenitors are unaffected. HGF-dependent progenitor cell lines can be derived by directly culturing C/EBPalpha(-/-) FL cells in vitro Hyperproliferative spleen colonies and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are observed in mice reconstituted with C/EBPalpha(-/-) FL cells, indicating progenitor hyperproliferation in vitro and in vivo. C/EBPalpha(-/-) FL lacked macrophage progenitors in vitro and had impaired ability to generate macrophages in vivo. These findings show that C/EBPalpha deficiency results in hyperproliferation of HPCs and a block in the ability of multipotential progenitors to differentiate into bipotential granulocyte/macrophage progenitors and their progeny.