[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sall4 is a key factor for the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Our previous studies have shown that Sall4 is a robust stimulator for human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSC/HPC) expansion. The purpose of the current study is to further evaluate how Sall4 may affect HSC/HPC activities in a murine system.
Lentiviral vectors expressing Sall4A or Sall4B isoform were used to transduce mouse bone marrow Lin-/Sca1+/c-Kit+ (LSK) cells and HSC/HPC self-renewal and differentiation were evaluated.
Forced expression of Sall4 isoforms led to sustained ex vivo proliferation of LSK cells. In addition, Sall4 expanded HSC/HPCs exhibited increased in vivo repopulating abilities after bone marrow transplantation. These activities were associated with dramatic upregulation of multiple HSC/HPC regulatory genes including HoxB4, Notch1, Bmi1, Runx1, Meis1 and Nf-ya. Consistently, downregulation of endogenous Sall4 expression led to reduced LSK cell proliferation and accelerated cell differentiation. Moreover, in myeloid progenitor cells (32D), overexpression of Sall4 isoforms inhibited granulocytic differentiation and permitted expansion of undifferentiated cells with defined cytokines, consistent with the known functions of Sall4 in the ES cell system.
Sall4 is a potent regulator for HSC/HPC self-renewal, likely by increasing self-renewal activity and inhibiting differentiation. Our work provides further support that Sall4 manipulation may be a new model for expanding clinically transplantable stem cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are derived from reprogrammed somatic cells and are similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, gene/protein expression, and pluripotency. In this study, we explored the potential of iPS cells to differentiate into alveolar Type II (ATII)-like epithelial cells. Analysis using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence staining showed that pulmonary surfactant proteins commonly expressed by ATII cells such as surfactant protein A (SPA), surfactant protein B (SPB), and surfactant protein C (SPC) were upregulated in the differentiated cells. Microphilopodia characteristics and lamellar bodies were observed by transmission electron microscopy and lipid deposits were verified by Nile Red and Periodic Acid Schiff staining. C3 complement protein, a specific feature of ATII cells, was present at high levels in culture supernatants demonstrating functionality of these cells in culture. These data show that the differentiated cells generated from iPS cells using a culture method developed previously (Rippon et al., 2006) are ATII-like cells. To further characterize these ATII-like cells, we tested whether they could undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) by exposure to drugs that induce lung fibrosis in mice, such as bleomycin, and the combination of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF(b1)) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). When the ATII-like cells were exposed to either bleomycin or a TGF(b1)-EGF cocktail, they underwent phenotypic changes including acquisition of a mesenchymal/fibroblastic morphology, upregulation of mesenchymal markers (Col1, Vim, a-Sma, and S100A4), and downregulation of surfactant proteins and E-cadherin. We have shown that ATII-like cells can be derived from skin fibroblasts and that they respond to fibrotic stimuli. These cells provide a valuable tool for screening of agents that can potentially ameliorate or prevent diseases involving lung fibrosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus is characterized by either the inability to produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or as insensitivity to insulin secreted by the body (type 2 diabetes). In either case, the body is unable to move blood glucose efficiently across cell membranes to be used. This leads to a variety of local and systemic detrimental effects. Current treatments for diabetes focus on exogenous insulin administration and dietary control. Here, we describe a potential cure for diabetes using a cellular therapy to ameliorate symptoms associated with both reduced insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. Using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, we were able to derive beta-like cells similar to the endogenous insulin-secreting cells in mice. These beta-like cells secreted insulin in response to glucose and corrected a hyperglycemic phenotype in two mouse models of type 1 and 2 diabetes via an iPS cell transplant. Long-term correction of hyperglycemia was achieved, as determined by blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels. These data provide an initial proof of principle for potential clinical applications of reprogrammed somatic cells in the treatment of diabetes type 1 or 2.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2010; 107(30):13426-31. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemophilia A is caused by mutations within the Factor VIII (FVIII) gene that lead to depleted protein production and inefficient blood clotting. Several attempts at gene therapy have failed for various reasons-including immune rejection. The recent generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells by the ectopic expression of 3 transcription factors, Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4, provides a means of circumventing the immune rejection barrier. To date, iPS cells appear to be indistinguishable from ES cells and thus provide tremendous therapeutic potential. Here we prepared murine iPS cells from tail-tip fibroblasts and differentiated them to both endothelial cells and endothelial progenitor cells by using the embryoid body differentiation method. These iPS cells express major ES cell markers such as Oct4, Nanog, SSEA-1, alkaline phosphatase, and SALL4. Endothelial/endothelial progenitor cells derived from iPS cells expressed cell-specific markers such as CD31, CD34, and Flk1 and secreted FVIII protein. These iPS-derived cells were injected directly into the liver of irradiated hemophilia A mice. At various times after transplantation (7-90 days) hemophilia A mice and their control mice counterparts were challenged by a tail-clip bleeding assay. Nontransplanted hemophilia A mice died within a few hours, whereas transplanted mice survived for more than 3 months. Plasma FVIII levels increased in transplanted hemophilia A mice during this period to 8% to 12% of wild type and corrected the hemophilia A phenotype. Our studies provide additional evidence that iPS cell therapy may be able to treat human monogenetic disorders in the future.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 106(3):808-13. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells have potential utility in regenerative medicine because of their pluripotent characteristics. Sall4, a zinc-finger transcription factor, is expressed very early in embryonic development with Oct4 and Nanog, two well-characterized pluripotency regulators. Sall4 plays an important role in governing the fate of stem cells through transcriptional regulation of both Oct4 and Nanog. By using chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to microarray hybridization (ChIP-on-chip), we have mapped global gene targets of Sall4 to further investigate regulatory processes in W4 mouse ES cells. A total of 3,223 genes were identified that were bound by the Sall4 protein on duplicate assays with high confidence, and many of these have major functions in developmental and regulatory pathways. Sall4 bound approximately twice as many annotated genes within promoter regions as Nanog and approximately four times as many as Oct4. Immunoprecipitation revealed a heteromeric protein complex(es) between Sall4, Oct4, and Nanog, consistent with binding site co-occupancies. Decreasing Sall4 expression in W4 ES cells decreases the expression levels of Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, four proteins capable of reprogramming somatic cells to an induced pluripotent state. Further, Sall4 bound many genes that are regulated in part by chromatin-based epigenetic events mediated by polycomb-repressive complexes and bivalent domains. This suggests that Sall4 plays a diverse role in regulating stem cell pluripotency during early embryonic development through integration of transcriptional and epigenetic controls.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(50):19756-61. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing studies suggest that SALL4 may play vital roles in leukemogenesis and stem cell phenotypes. We have mapped the global gene targets of SALL4 using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by microarray hybridization and identified more than 2000 high-confidence, SALL4-binding genes in the human acute promyelocytic leukemic cell line, NB4. Analysis of SALL4-binding sites reveals that genes involved in cell death, cancer, DNA replication/repair, and cell cycle were highly enriched (P < .05). These genes include 38 important apoptosis-inducing genes (TNF, TP53, PTEN, CARD9, CARD11, CYCS, LTA) and apoptosis-inhibiting genes (Bmi-1, BCL2, XIAP, DAD1, TEGT). Real-time polymerase chain reaction has shown that expression levels of these genes changed significantly after SALL4 knockdown, which ubiquitously led to cell apoptosis. Flow cytometry revealed that reduction of SALL4 expression in NB4 and other leukemia cell lines dramatically increased caspase-3, annexin V, and DNA fragmentation activity. Bromodeoxyuridine-incorporation assays showed decreased numbers of S-phase cells and increased numbers of G1- and G2-phase cells indicating reduced DNA synthesis, consistent with results from cell proliferation assays. In addition, NB4 cells that express low levels of SALL4 have significantly decreased tumorigenecity in immunodeficient mice. Our studies provide a foundation in the development of leukemia stem cell-specific therapy by targeting SALL4.