[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The differentiation process, proceeding from stem cells towards the different committed cell types, can be considered as a trajectory towards an attractor of a dynamical process. This view, taking into consideration the transcriptome and miRNome dynamics considered as a whole, instead of looking at few 'master genes' driving the system, offers a novel perspective on this phenomenon. We investigated the 'differentiation trajectories' of the hematopoietic system considering a genome-wide scenario.
We developed serum-free liquid suspension unilineage cultures of cord blood (CB) CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells through erythroid (E), megakaryocytic (MK), granulocytic (G) and monocytic (Mo) pathways. These cultures recapitulate physiological hematopoiesis, allowing the analysis of almost pure unilineage precursors starting from initial differentiation of HPCs until terminal maturation. By analyzing the expression profile of protein coding genes and microRNAs in unilineage CB E, MK, G and Mo cultures, at sequential stages of differentiation and maturation, we observed a coordinated, fully interconnected and scalable character of cell population behaviour in both transcriptome and miRNome spaces reminiscent of an attractor-like dynamics. MiRNome and transcriptome space differed for a still not terminally committed behaviour of microRNAs.
Consistent with their roles, the transcriptome system can be considered as the state space of a cell population, while the continuously evolving miRNA space corresponds to the tuning system necessary to reach the attractor. The behaviour of miRNA machinery could be of great relevance not only for the promise of reversing the differentiated state but even for tumor biology.
BMC Systems Biology 01/2010; 4:85. · 2.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years there have been major advances in our knowledge of the regulation of iron metabolism that have had implications for understanding the pathophysiology of some human disorders like beta-thalassemia and other iron overload diseases. However, little is known about the relationship among ineffective erythropoiesis, the role of iron-regulatory genes, and tissue iron distribution in beta-thalassemia. The principal aim of this paper is an update about the role of Ferroportin during human normal and pathological erythroid differentiation. Particular attention will be given to beta-thalassemia and other diseases with iron overload. Recent discoveries indicate that there is a potential for therapeutic intervention in beta-thalassemia by means of manipulating iron metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ferroportin-1 (FPN1) is expressed in various types of cells that play critical roles in mammalian iron metabolism and appears to act as an iron exporter in these tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate whether erythroid cells possess specific mechanisms for iron export.
The expression of FPN1 during human erythroid differentiation, the characterization of alternative transcripts, the modulation by iron and the subcellular localization of this protein were studied.
FPN1 mRNA and protein are highly expressed during human erythroid differentiation. The iron-responsive element (IRE) in the 5'- untranslated region (UTR) of FPN1 mRNA is functional but, in spite of that, FPN1 protein expression, as well as mRNA level and half-life, seem not to be affected by iron. To explain these apparenthy discordant results we searched for alternative transcripts of FPN1 and found at least three different types of transcripts, displaying alternative 5' ends. Most of the FPN1 transcripts code for the canonical protein, but only half of them contain an IRE in the 5'-UTR and have the potential to be translationally regulated by iron. Expression analysis shows that alternative FPN1 transcripts are differentially expressed during erythroid differentiation. Finally, sustained expression of alternative FPN1 transcripts is apparently observed only in erythroid cells.
This is the first report describing the presence of FPN1 in erythroid cells at all stages of differentiation, providing evidence that erythroid cells possess specific mechanisms of iron export. The existence of multiple FPN1 transcripts indicates a complex regulation of the FPN1 gene in erythroid cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have investigated the expression of transferrin receptor (TfR) iron regulatory protein-1 (IRP-1) and iron regulatory protein-2 (IRP-2) in liquid suspension culture of purified hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) induced by a growth factor stimulus to proliferation and unilineage differentiation/maturation through the erythroid, granulocytic, monocytic and megakaryocytic lineages. In initial HPC differentiation, TfR expression is induced in both erythroid and granulopoietic cultures. In late HPC differentiation (i.e. starting from day 5 of culture) and then differentiated precursor maturation, the TfR gene is highly expressed in the erythroid lineage, whereas it is sharply downmodulated in the granulopoietic, monocytopoietic and megakaryocytic series. The elevated TfR expression in erythroid cells is: (a) mediated through a high rate of TfR gene transcription; (b) modulated by intracellular iron levels; (c) mediated by TfR mRNA stabilization through the iron regulatory protein (IRP), in that IRP-1 activity is high in erythroid lineage as compared to the levels observed in other hemopoietic lineages; and (d) dependent on exogenous erythropoietin (Epo) (this is indicated by the marked TfR and IRP-1/IRP-2 downmodulation after Epo starvation). Interestingly, analysis of IRP-1 and IRP-2 expression during hemopoietic differentiation showed that: (a) IRP-1 expression was maintained during all steps of erythroid differentiation, while it was lost in the other hemopoietic lineages; (b) IRP-2 expression was observed during all stages of hemopoietic differentiation in all four lineages. However, IRP-1 and IRP-2 expression and activity are induced when monocytes, which express only low levels of IRP-1 and IRP-2, are induced to maturation to macrophages. These studies indicate that: (a) in normal erythropoiesis, the hyperexpression of TfR, starting from early erythroid HPC differentiation, is Epo-dependent and mediated via transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms; (b) in the granulopoietic, monocytopoietic and megakaryocytic pathways, the TfR is first induced and then downmodulated (the latter phenomenon is mediated via transcriptional suppression of the TfR gene and IRP inactivation).
European Journal of Biochemistry 01/2001; 267(23):6762-74. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the expression of HOXB cluster genes in purified phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T lymphocytes from normal adult peripheral blood by reverse transcription PCR and RNase protection. These genes are not expressed in quiescent T cells, except for barely detectable B1 RNA. After the PHA stimulus, HOXB gene activation initiates coordinately as a rapid induction wave in the 3'-->5' cluster direction (i.e., from HOXB1 through B9 genes). Thus, (i) expression of the foremost 3'-located B1 and B2 genes peaks 10 min after PHA addition and then rapidly declines, (ii) activation of B3, B4, and B5 begins 10 min after PHA addition and peaks at later times (i.e., at 120 min for B5), (iii) B6, B7, and B9 are expressed at a low level starting at later times (45 to 60 min), and (iv) B8 remains silent. Treatment of PHA-activated T lymphocytes with antisense oligonucleotides to B2 or B4 mRNA causes a drastic inhibition of T-cell proliferation and a decreased expression of T-cell activation markers (i.e., interleukin 2 and transferrin receptors). Similarly, treatment of CEM-CCRF, Peer, and SEZ627 T acute lymphocytic leukemia cell lines with anti-B4 oligomer markedly inhibits cell proliferation. Finally, T cells stimulated by a low dosage of PHA in the presence of 1 microM retinoic acid show a marked increase of both HOXB expression, particularly B2, and cell proliferation. These studies provide novel evidence on the role of HOX genes in adult cell proliferation. (i) Coordinate, early activation of HOXB genes from the 3'-->5' cluster side apparently underlies T-cell activation. (ii) The expression pattern in adult PHA-activated T cells is strikingly similar to that observed in retinoic acid-induced teratocarcinoma cells (A. Simeone, D. Acampora, L. Arcioni, P. W. Andres, E. Boncinelli, and F. Mavilio, Nature (London) 346:763-766, 1990), thus suggesting that molecular mechanisms underlying HOX gene expression in the earliest stages of development may also operate in activated adult T lymphocytes.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 08/1994; 14(7):4872-7. · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the key role of human homeobox (HOX) genes in development is well established, their function in adult cells is still under scrutiny. We have analyzed, in normal adult blood cell subpopulations, acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) cells lines, and primary blasts, the RNA expression of all HOX-2 cluster genes (5'-2.5, 2.4, 2.3, 2.2, 2.1, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3') and nine genes in the HOX-1, -3, and -4 cluster by Northern blotting, RNAse protection, and/or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The analyzed HOX-1, -3, and -4 genes were never expressed in all tested cell populations. Natural killer (NK) cells activated in interleukin-2 (IL-2)/IL-1 beta-treated cultures exhibit a gradually increasing, abundant expression of three HOX-2 genes (2.2, 2.6, 2.8), while three other genes (2.3, 2.1, 2.7) are expressed at a lower level at late culture times. However, no HOX-2 gene is expressed in quiescent lymphocytes (NK, B and T [T-cell receptor (TCR) alpha/beta, gamma/delta lymphocytes, thymocytes] cells), granulocytes, and monocytes. In B- and T-ALL cell lines, HOX-2 genes are expressed according to different patterns: (1) widespread transcription (seven of nine genes, including 2.3 and 2.6) in the Peer line bearing the TCR gamma/delta; (2) expression of 2.5, 2.2, and 2.6 in the SEZ 627 line, which derives from an HTLV-1+ T-helper leukemia; (3) transcription of 2.3 and 2.6 in both the T-ALL CEM line and four B-ALL lines (interestingly, CALLA- B-ALL lines are constantly 2.3/2.6 RNA+); (4) no HOX-2 gene expression was detected in one T- and two B-ALL lines. Primary blasts from five T- and five pre-B-ALL showed selective expression of one or more HOX-2 genes, namely 2.5, 2.2, 2.6, and 2.7. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that selected HOX-2 genes play a role in the IL-2/IL-1 beta-induced activation and/or proliferation of normal NK lymphocytes and possibly in the oncogenetic process of some T- and B-ALL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complex mechanisms underlying homeobox genes expression involve regulation at transcriptional, post-transcriptional and translational levels. The multiple transcripts of the human HOX-5.1 gene are expressed differentially in tissue- and stage-specific patterns during embryogenesis, and differentially induced by retinoic acid (RA) in human embryonal carcinoma (EC) NT2/D1 cells. We have sequenced 6.3 Kb of the genomic region containing the HOX-5.1 gene and analyzed its mechanisms of expression. Two alternative promoters underlie the transcription of two classes of HOX-5.1-specific mRNAs. These classes differ in tissue and subcellular distribution, induction by RA, structure of the 5'-UT region and mRNA stability: these features are compatible with a differential function of the two classes of transcripts in embryogenesis.
Nucleic Acids Research 09/1990; 18(15):4361-8. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the expression of HLA Ag on hemopoietic progenitors (burst-forming unit E, CFU-E, and CFU-granulocyte-macrophage) and precursors from human embryonic fetal liver (FL) and peripheral blood at 5 to 9 wk postconception. The expression on progenitors was evaluated by complement-mediated cytotoxicity followed by assay of residual progenitors in clonogenic culture; immunofluorescence and RIA were used for differentiated precursors. HLA Class I and II Ag are not expressed on the primitive erythroid lineage, i.e., on yolk sac-derived megaloblasts circulating in 5- to 6-wk peripheral blood. However, they are gradually induced on the definitive erythroid lineage in FL. Their expression on progenitors is first detected at 6 wk and shows a progressive increase through 9 wk, up to greater than or equal to 50% of adult values. A similar expression pattern is observed for FL erythroblasts. Incubation of 6-wk FL erythroid cells with IFN-alpha, -beta, or -gamma, or TNF-alpha induces a sharp rise of the expression of HLA class I, but not HLA class II Ag on both progenitors and precursors. In contrast, incubation with PHA-stimulated adult leukocyte-conditioned medium causes a marked increase of both HLA-ABC and HLA class II Ag expression. We hence investigated the effect of cytokines present in leukocyte-conditioned medium on the expression of HLA class II Ag: although IL-1 alpha, IL-2, and granulocyte-macrophage-CSF do not exert a significant action, IL-1 beta and IL-4 induce a marked increase of HLA class II, but not class I, Ag expression on 6-wk FL progenitors and precursors. Low amounts of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-1 beta were detected in the supernatants and extracts of 6-wk FL cells. The concentrations of these cytokines in both supernatants and extracts sharply increase in the 7- to 8-wk period, particularly for TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta, thus indicating a direct correlation with the rise of HLA Ag expression on FL erythroid cells in the same period. In conclusion, the expression of HLA class I and II Ag is not detected on primitive megaloblasts, but is gradually induced on definitive FL progenitors and precursors, possibly via production of specific cytokines in the FL microenvironment, i.e., IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha for class I Ag and IL-1 beta for class II Ag.
The Journal of Immunology 06/1990; 144(9):3354-60. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To gain insight to the mechanisms underlying region-specific gene expression in mammalian development, we investigated the regulatory DNA associated with the proximal promoter of two homeo box genes, murine Hox-1.3 and human Hox-5.1. Using lacZ gene fusions in transgenic mice, we identified regulatory elements in the 5'-flanking sequences of the Hox-1.3 and the Hox-5.1 genes that specifically direct beta-galactosidase expression to the brachial and the upper cervical regions (respectively) of the central nervous system (CNS). These two elements act at the transcriptional level, are active in either orientation, and confer region-specific expression to unrelated promoters, satisfying the criteria for enhancer elements. The two spatial domains defined by these enhancers are directly adjoining, extend along the rostrocaudal axis for the same span of 6-7 metameres, and represent specific subsets of the overall CNS regions expressing all endogenous Hox-1.3 or Hox-5.1 transcripts. The adjacent domains in the developing murine CNS that express Hox-1.3 and Hox-5.1 gene fusions are strikingly reminiscent of the adjacent stripes of expression in Drosophila embryos seen with Sex combs reduced and Deformed, the two Drosophila homeotic genes most homologous to Hox-1.3 and Hox-5.1, respectively. These findings represent the first demonstration of region-specific mammalian enhancers and raise the possibility that the mammalian CNS may be subdivided into a series of rostrocaudal domains on the basis of the activity of enhancers near homeo box genes.
Genes & Development 03/1990; 4(2):180-9. · 12.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sixteen HLA class I clones have been isolated from a SV40-transformed human fibroblast line (GM637) cDNA library. The clones, characterized by hybridization to ABC locus-specific probes and sequence analysis, correspond to transcripts from four different class I genes: A2, A10, Cw4, and Cw6 (or Cw7), as implied by cell typing. Only the A2 sequence was known. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence of the new alleles are reported here, and their structural features are discussed. Two independent cDNAs of A2 specificity display an unusual polyadenylation site located 100 bp upstream from the canonical one. Moreover, two cDNAs pertaining to the same C allele display two alternative mechanisms of splicing, which cause either presence or absence in mature transcripts of the transmembrane exon 5 sequence. Transcripts missing this region are predicted to synthesize a nonmembrane-bound, secreted antigen. A soluble protein, specifically reacting with class I-specific HLA antibodies, is found in the supernatant of the GM637 cells. The significance of HLA class I transcripts generated by differential processing is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure of the gene for protein C, an anticoagulant serine protease, was analyzed in 29 unrelated patients with hereditary thrombophilia and protein C deficiency. Gene deletion(s) or gross rearrangement(s) was not demonstrable by Southern blot hybridization to cDNA probes. However, two unrelated patients showed a variant restriction pattern after Pvu II or BamHI digestion, due to mutations in the last exon: analysis of their pedigrees, including three or seven heterozygotes, respectively, with approximately 50% reduction of both enzymatic and antigen level, showed the abnormal restriction pattern in all heterozygous individuals, but not in normal relatives. Cloning of protein C gene and sequencing of the last exon allowed us to identify a nonsense and a missense mutation, respectively. In the first case, codon 306 (CGA, arginine) is mutated to an inframe stop codon, thus generating a new Pvu II recognition site. In the second case, a missense mutation in the BamHI palindrome (GGATCC----GCATCC) leads to substitution of a key amino acid (a tryptophan to cysteine substitution at position 402), invariantly conserved in eukaryotic serine proteases. These point mutations may explain the protein C-deficiency phenotype of heterozygotes in the two pedigrees.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/1987; 84(9):2829-32. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the molecular analysis of primary cells from four cases of human B-cell malignancies each with an 8;14 chromosomal translocation involving the c-myc proto-oncogene and the immunoglobulin (Ig) gene cluster. In two cases of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-ALL) the c-myc is truncated, rearranged into the Ig C alpha 1 locus and over-expressed in two abnormal mRNAs of approximately 2.0 and 2.8 kb. Conversely, in two cases of B-cell lymphoma progressed into leukemia the c-myc locus was translocated intact in its coding and 5'-flanking region into an Ig region different from C alpha 1, and over-expressed in two normal mRNA species. Cloning and sequencing of the breakpoint region on chromosome 14q+ from one of the two B-ALL cases showed that the myc gene is truncated 1077 nucleotides upstream from the translation start site, and rearranged in the opposite transcriptional orientation into an Ig class-switch segment approximately 4.8 kb upstream from the C alpha 1 gene. The c-myc anti-sense strand contains two class-switch recombination consensus sequences in the immediate boundaries of the breakpoint on chromosome 8: this allows us to postulate that an erroneous, class-switch-like recombination between Ig and myc sequences gave rise to the chromosomal translocation. Furthermore, we report 13 point mutations clustered in a region spanning from the first intron to the second exon of the translocated c-myc gene, five of which cause amino acid changes leading to an abnormal myc protein. This is the first evidence of mutations in a translocated c-myc in primary tumor cells.
The EMBO Journal 06/1986; 5(5):905-11. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure of factor IX gene was analyzed in a hemophilia B patient with inhibitor. Genomic DNA, digested with a variety of restriction endonucleases, was hybridized with the cDNA and various genomic factor IX probes. A large subtotal deletion of the gene was observed. The borders of the deletion span from a approximately 125 nucleotide region within the last exon to an unknown domain at least 7.5 kb upstream from the first exon: it thus involves approximately 33 kb of the factor IX locus. The abnormal gene was inherited by the daughter of the propositus, who showed both the normal and the deleted allele.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An Italian family in which heterocellular hereditary persistence of fetal haemoglobin (HPFH) interacts with both beta(+)- and delta beta-thalassaemia is described. The index case was an 8 year old girl who was presumed to inherit both heterocellular HPFH and beta (+)-thalassaemia from her mother and delta beta-thalassaemia from her father. She was healthy and never needed blood transfusions. The possible contribution of heterocellular HPFH to the less severe expression of the compound delta beta/beta(+)-thalassaemia heterozygosity is discussed. By DNA analysis the specific delta beta-thalassaemia defect on the gamma delta beta globin gene region has been established. In addition, a previously unreported association of a polymorphic restriction site haplotype with a beta (+)-thalassaemia mutation has been observed.
Journal of Medical Genetics 09/1984; 21(4):263-7. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a study of four families of Italian origin in which heterocellular HPFH is inherited linked to beta thalassemia over two or three generations. The HPFH + beta thalassemia carriers showed thalassemic blood pictures and elevated HbF and F-cell number without increase in the HbF/F-cell content. Association of this gene complex with a second beta thalassemia trait gives rise to a mild clinical picture characterized by 9-12 g/dl of mainly HbF in peripheral blood and no transfusion requirement. In two families, independent segregation of the HPFH or beta-thal trait was observed, and in one case the study of the DNA polymorphisms within the gamma delta beta gene cluster indicated that the HPFH mutation lies outside that DNA region. In one family the coexistence of a polymorphic variant of the A gamma chain (the A gamma T chain) allowed us to demonstrate that the increased gamma chain synthesis caused by the heterocellular HPFH determinant is directed by both chromosomes.
Human Genetics 02/1984; 66(2-3):151-6. · 4.63 Impact Factor