[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HOX genes have been implicated as regulators of normal and leukemic stem cell functionality, but the extent to which these activities are linked is poorly understood. Previous studies revealed that transduction of primitive mouse hematopoietic cells with a NUP98HOXA10homeodomain (NA10HD) fusion gene enables a subsequent rapid and marked expansion in vitro of hematopoietic stem cell numbers without causing their transformation or deregulated expansion in vivo. To determine whether forced expression of NA10HD in primitive human cells would have a similar effect, we compared the number of long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) present in cultures of lenti-NA10HD versus control virus-transduced CD34(+) cells originally isolated from human cord blood and chronic phase (CP) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. We found that NA10HD greatly increases outputs of both normal and Ph(+)/BCR-ABL(+) LTC-ICs, and this effect is particularly pronounced in cultures containing growth factor-producing feeders. Interestingly, NA10HD did not affect the initial cell cycle kinetics of the transduced cells nor their subsequent differentiation. Moreover, immunodeficient mice repopulated with NA10HD-transduced CP-CML cells for more than 8 months showed no evidence of altered behavior. Thus, NA10HD provides a novel tool to enhance both normal and CP-CML stem cell expansion in vitro, without apparently altering other properties.Leukemia advance online publication, 7 August 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.196.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2012; · 8.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity is a widely used marker for human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), yet its relevance and role in murine HSCs remain unclear. We found that murine marrow cells with a high level of ALDH activity as measured by Aldefluor staining (ALDH(br) cells) do not contain known HSCs or progenitors. In contrast, highly enriched murine HSCs defined by the CD48(-)EPCR(+) and other phenotypes contain two subpopulations, one that stains dimly with Aldefluor (ALDH(dim)) and one that stains at intermediate levels (ALDH(int)). The CD48(-)EPCR(+)ALDH(dim) cells are virtually all in G(0) and yield high levels of engraftment via both intravenous and intrabone routes. In contrast the CD48(-)EPCR(+)ALDH(int) cells are virtually all in G(1), have little intravenous engraftment potential, and yet can engraft long-term after intrabone transplantation. These data demonstrate that Aldefluor staining of unfractionated murine marrow does not identify known HSCs or progenitors. However, varying levels of Aldefluor staining when combined with CD48 and EPCR detection can identify novel populations in murine marrow including a highly enriched population of resting HSCs and a previously unknown HSC population in G(1) with an intravenous engraftment defect.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High levels of the aldehyde dehydrogenase isoform ALDH1A1 are expressed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); however, its importance in these cells remains unclear. Consistent with an earlier report, we find that loss of ALDH1A1 does not affect HSCs. Intriguingly, however, we find that ALDH1A1 deficiency is associated with increased expression of the ALDH3A1 isoform, suggesting its potential to compensate for ALDH1A1. Mice deficient in ALDH3A1 have a block in B-cell development as well as abnormalities in cell cycling, intracellular signaling, and gene expression. Early B cells from these mice exhibit excess reactive oxygen species and reduced metabolism of reactive aldehydes. Mice deficient in both ALDH3A1 and ALDH1A1 have reduced numbers of HSCs as well as aberrant cell cycle distribution, increased reactive oxygen species levels, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activity and sensitivity to DNA damage. These findings demonstrate that ALDH3A1 can compensate for ALDH1A1 in bone marrow and is important in B-cell development, both ALDH1A1 and 3A1 are important in HSC biology; and these effects may be due, in part, to changes in metabolism of reactive oxygen species and reactive aldehydes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pre-B-cell leukemia homeobox interacting protein 1 or human PBX1 interacting protein (PBXIP1/HPIP) is a co-repressor of pre-B-cell leukemia homeobox 1 (PBX1) and is also known to regulate estrogen receptor functions by associating with the microtubule network. Despite its initial discovery in the context of hematopoietic cells, little is yet known about the role of HPIP in hematopoiesis. Here, we show that lentivirus-mediated overexpression of HPIP in human CD34(+) cells enhances hematopoietic colony formation in vitro, whereas HPIP knockdown leads to a reduction in the number of such colonies. Interestingly, erythroid colony number was significantly higher in HPIP-overexpressing cells. In addition, forced expression of HPIP in K562 cells, a multipotent erythro-megakaryoblastic leukemia cell line, led to an induction of erythroid differentiation. HPIP overexpression in both CD34(+) and K562 cells was associated with increased activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway, and corresponding treatment with a PI3K-specific inhibitor, LY-294002, caused a reduction in clonogenic progenitor number in HPIP-expressing CD34(+) cells and decreased K562 cell differentiation. Combined, these findings point to an important role of the PI3K/AKT pathway in mediating HPIP-induced effects on the growth and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. Interestingly, HPIP gene expression was found to be induced in K562 cells in response to erythroid differentiation signals such as DMSO and erythropoietin. The erythroid lineage-specific transcription factor GATA1 binds to the HPIP promoter and activates HPIP gene transcription in a CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF)-dependent manner. Co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization experiments revealed the association of CTCF with GATA1 indicating the recruitment of CTCF/GATA1 transcription factor complex onto the HPIP promoter. Together, this study provides evidence that HPIP is a target of GATA1 and CTCF in erythroid cells and plays an important role in erythroid differentiation by modulating the PI3K/AKT pathway.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2011; 287(8):5600-14. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) have been the subject of considerable investigation because of their ability to self-renew and maintain leukemia. Thus, selective targeting and killing of LICs would provide highly efficient and novel therapeutic strategies. Here we explored whether we could use a canine leukemia cell line (G374) derived from a dog that received HOXB4-transduced repopulating cells to study leukemia in the murine xenograft model and the dog.
G374 cells were infused in dogs intravenously and in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient and nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient/IL2Rγ(null) mice either intravenously or directly into the bone cavity. Animals were bled to track engraftment and proliferation of G374 cells, and were sacrificed when they appeared ill.
We found that canine LICs are capable of sustained in vitro self-renewal while maintaining their ability to induce acute myeloid leukemia, which resembles human disease in both dogs and mice. Furthermore, we developed a novel strategy for the quantification of LIC frequency in large animals and showed that this frequency was highly comparable to that determined by limited dilution in mouse xenotransplants. We also demonstrated, using single-cell analysis, that LICs are heterogeneous in their self-renewal capacity and regenerate a leukemic cell population consistent with a hierarchical leukemia model.
The availability of this novel framework should accelerate the characterization of LICs and the translation of animal studies into clinical trials.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myeloid ectropic viral integration site 1 (MEIS1) is a Hox cofactor known for its role in development and is strongly linked to normal and leukemic hematopoiesis. Although previous studies have focused on identifying protein partners of MEIS1 and its transcriptionally regulated targets, little is known about the upstream transcriptional regulators of this tightly regulated gene. Understanding the regulation of MEIS1 is important to understanding normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis.
Here we describe our studies focusing on the evolutionary conserved putative MEIS1 promoter region. Phylogenetic sequence analysis and reporter assays in MEIS1-expressing (K562) and nonexpressing (HL60) leukemic cell line models were used to identify key regulatory regions and potential transcription factor binding sites within the candidate promoter region followed by functional and expression studies of one identified regulator in both cell lines and primary human cord blood and leukemia samples.
Chromatin status of MEIS1 promoter region is associated with MEIS1 expression. Truncation and mutation studies coupled with reporter assays revealed that a conserved ETS family member binding site located 289 bp upstream of the annotated human MEIS1 transcription start site is required for promoter activity. Of the three ETS family members tested, only ELF1 was enriched on the MEIS1 promoter as assessed by both electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments in K562. This finding was confirmed in MEIS1-expressing primary human samples. Moreover, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ELF1 in K562 cells was associated with a decreased MEIS1 expression.
We conclude that the ETS transcription factor ELF1 is an important positive regulator of MEIS1 expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of strategies to extensively expand hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro will be a major factor in enhancing the success of a range of transplant-based therapies for malignant and genetic disorders. In addition to potential clinical applications, the ability to increase the number of HSCs in culture will facilitate investigations into the mechanisms underlying self-renewal. In this unit, we describe a robust strategy for consistently achieving over 1000-fold net expansion of HSCs in short-term in vitro culture by using novel engineered fusions of the N-terminal domain of nucleoporin 98 (NUP98) and the homeodomain of the hox transcription factor, HOXA10 (so called NUP98-HOXA10hd fusion). We also provide a detailed protocol for monitoring the magnitude of HSC expansion in culture by limiting dilution assay of competitive lympho-myeloid repopulating units (CRU Assay). These procedures provide new possibilities for achieving significant numbers of HSCs in culture, as well as for studying HSCs biochemically and genetically.
Current protocols in stem cell biology 02/2008; Chapter 2:Unit 2A.7.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primitive human hematopoietic cells contain higher levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity than their terminally differentiating progeny but the particular stages when ALDH levels change have not been well defined. The objective of this study was to compare ALDH levels among the earliest stages of hematopoietic cell differentiation and to determine whether these could be exploited to obtain improved purity of human cord blood cells with long-term lympho-myeloid repopulating activity in vivo.
ALDEFLUOR-stained human cord blood cells displaying different levels of ALDH activity were first analyzed for co-expression of various surface markers. Subsets of these cells were then isolated by multi-parameter flow cytometry and assessed for short-and long-term repopulating activity in sublethally irradiated immunodeficient mice.
Most short-term myeloid repopulating cells (STRC-M) and all long-term lympho-myeloid repopulating cells (LTRC-ML) stained selectively as ALDH+. Limiting dilution analysis of the frequencies of both STRC-M and LTRC-ML showed that they were similarly and most highly enriched in the 10% top ALDH+ cells. Removal of cells expressing CD2, CD3, CD7, CD14, CD16, CD24, CD36, CD38, CD56, CD66b, or glycophorin A from the ALDH+ low-density fraction of human cord blood cells with low light side-scattering properties yielded a population containing LTRC-ML at a frequency of 1/360.
Elevated ALDH activity is a broadly inclusive property of primitive human cord blood cells that, in combination with other markers, allows easy isolation of the stem cell fraction at unprecedented purities.