Roger Patient

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (142)938.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) sustain blood production through life and are of pivotal importance in regenerative medicine. Although HSC generation from pluripotent stem cells would resolve their shortage for clinical applications, this has not yet been achieved mainly due to the poor mechanistic understanding of their programing. Bone marrow HSCs are first created during embryogenesis in the dorsal aorta (DA) of the mid-gestation conceptus, from where they migrate to the fetal liver and, eventually, the bone marrow. It is currently accepted that HSCs emerge from specialised endothelium, the hemogenic endothelium, localised in the ventral wall of the DA through an evolutionarily conserved process called the endothelial to hematopoietic transition (EHT). However, EHT represents one of the last steps in HSC creation and an understanding of earlier events in the specification of their progenitors is required if we are to create them from naïve pluripotent cells. Due to their ready availability and external development, studies on zebrafish and Xenopus embryos have enormously facilitated our understanding of the early developmental processes leading to the programming of HSCs from nascent lateral plate mesoderm to hemogenic endothelium in the DA. The amenity of the Xenopus model to lineage tracing experiments has also contributed to the establishment of the distinct origins of embryonic (yolk sac) and adult (HSC) hematopoiesis, whilst the transparency of the zebrafish has allowed in vivo imaging of developing blood cells, particularly during and after the emergence of HSCs in the DA. Here, we discuss the key contributions of these model organisms to our understanding of developmental hematopoiesis.
    Experimental hematology. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A common feature of development in most vertebrate models is the early segregation of the germ line from the soma. For example, in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified by germ plasm that is inherited from the egg; in mice, Blimp1 expression in the epiblast mediates the commitment of cells to the germ line. How these disparate mechanisms of PGC specification evolved is unknown. Here, in order to identify the ancestral mechanism of PGC specification in vertebrates, we studied PGC specification in embryos from the axolotl (Mexican salamander), a model for the tetrapod ancestor. In the axolotl, PGCs develop within mesoderm, and classic studies have reported their induction from primitive ectoderm (animal cap). We used an axolotl animal cap system to demonstrate that signalling through FGF and BMP4 induces PGCs. The role of FGF was then confirmed in vivo. We also showed PGC induction by Brachyury, in the presence of BMP4. These conditions induced pluripotent mesodermal precursors that give rise to a variety of somatic cell types, in addition to PGCs. Irreversible restriction of the germ line did not occur until the mid-tailbud stage, days after the somatic germ layers are established. Before this, germline potential was maintained by MAP kinase signalling. We propose that this stochastic mechanism of PGC specification, from mesodermal precursors, is conserved in vertebrates.
    Development 01/2014; 141:2429-2440. · 6.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arterial and venous specification is critical for establishing and maintaining a functioning vascular system, and defects in key arteriovenous signaling pathways including VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) lead to congenital arteriopathies. The activities of VEGF, are in part controlled by heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans, significant components of the endothelial glycocalyx. The level of 6-O sulfation on HS polysaccharide chains, that mediate the interaction between HS and VEGFA, is edited at the cell surface by the enzyme SULF1. We investigated the role of sulf1 in vascular development. In zebrafish sulf1 is expressed in the head and tail vasculature, corresponding spatially and temporally with vascular development. Targeted knockdown of sulf1 by antisense morpholinos resulted in severe vascular patterning and maturation defects. 93 % of sulf1 morphants show dysmorphogenesis in arterial development leading to occlusion of the distal aorta and lack of axial and cranial circulation. Co-injection of vegfa 165 mRNA rescued circulatory defects. While the genes affecting haematopoiesis are unchanged, expression of several arterial markers downstream of VegfA signalling such as notch and ephrinB2 are severely reduced in the dorsal aorta, with a concomitant increase in expression of the venous markers flt4 in the dorsal aorta of the morphants. Furthermore, in vitro, lack of SULF1 expression downregulates VEGFA-mediated arterial marker expression, confirming that Sulf1 mediates arterial specification by regulating VegfA165 activity. This study provides the first in vivo evidence for the integral role of the endothelial glycocalyx in specifying arterial-venous identity, vascular patterning and arterial integrity, and will help to better understand congenital arteriopathies.
    Angiogenesis 08/2013; · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • Aldo Ciau-Uitz, Lu Wang, Roger Patient, Feng Liu
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are essential for the maintenance of the hematopoietic system. However, these cells cannot be maintained or created in vitro, and very little is known about their generation during embryogenesis. Many transcription factors and signaling pathways play essential roles at various stages of HSC development. Members of the ETS ('E twenty-six') family of transcription factors are recognized as key regulators within the gene regulatory networks governing hematopoiesis, including the ontogeny of HSCs. Remarkably, although all ETS transcription factors bind the same DNA consensus sequence and overlapping tissue expression is observed, individual ETS transcription factors play unique roles in the development of HSCs. Also, these transcription factors are recurrently used throughout development and their functions are context-dependent, increasing the challenge of studying their mechanism of action. Critically, ETS factors also play roles under pathological conditions, such as leukemia and, therefore, deciphering their mechanism of action will not only enhance our knowledge of normal hematopoiesis, but also inform protocols for their creation in vitro from pluripotent stem cells and the design of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of malignant blood cell diseases. In this review, we summarize the key findings on the roles of ETS transcription factors in HSC development and discuss novel mechanisms by which they could control hematopoiesis.
    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 08/2013; · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge during embryogenesis from hemogenic endothelium, but it remains unclear how the HSC lineage is initially established from mesoderm during ontogeny. In Xenopus, the definitive hemangioblast precursors of the HSC lineage have been identified in dorsal lateral plate (DLP) mesoderm, and a transcriptional gene regulatory network (GRN) controlling hemangioblast programming has been elucidated. Herein, we identify an essential role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in establishing the mesodermal lineage leading to both HSC emergence and vasculogenesis and determine that a single miRNA, miR-142-3p, is primarily responsible for initiation of definitive hemangioblast specification. miR-142-3p forms a double-negative gate unlocking entry into the hemangioblast program, in part by inhibiting TGFβ signaling. Our results table miR-142-3p as a master regulator of HSC lineage specification, sitting at the apex of the hierarchy programming the adult hemangioblast, thus illustrating that miRNAs can act as instructive determinants of cell fate during development.
    Developmental Cell 07/2013; · 12.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Limited clinical benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy have driven the identification of new targets involved in tumor angiogenesis. Here, we report an integrative meta-analysis to define the transcriptional program underlying angiogenesis in human cancer. This approach identified ELTD1, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose expression is induced by VEGF/bFGF and repressed by DLL4 signaling. Extensive analysis of multiple cancer types demonstrates significant upregulation of ELTD1 in tumor-associated endothelial cells, with a higher expression correlating with favorable prognosis. Importantly, ELTD1 silencing impairs endothelial sprouting and vessel formation in vitro and in vivo, drastically reducing tumor growth and greatly improving survival. Collectively, these results provide insight into the regulation of tumor angiogenesis and highlight ELTD1 as key player in blood vessel formation.
    Cancer cell 07/2013; · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell fate is governed by combinatorial actions of transcriptional regulators assembling into multiprotein complexes. However, the molecular details of how these complexes form are poorly understood. One such complex, which contains the basic-helix-loop-helix heterodimer SCL:E47 and bridging proteins LMO2:LDB1, critically regulates hematopoiesis and induces T cell leukemia. Here, we report the crystal structure of (SCL:E47)bHLH:LMO2:LDB1LID bound to DNA, providing a molecular account of the network of interactions assembling this complex. This reveals an unexpected role for LMO2. Upon binding to SCL, LMO2 induces new hydrogen bonds in SCL:E47, thereby strengthening heterodimer formation. This imposes a rotation movement onto E47 that weakens the heterodimer:DNA interaction, shifting the main DNA-binding activity onto additional protein partners. Along with biochemical analyses, this illustrates, at an atomic level, how hematopoietic-specific SCL sequesters ubiquitous E47 and associated cofactors and supports SCL's reported DNA-binding-independent functions. Importantly, this work will drive the design of small molecules inhibiting leukemogenic processes.
    Cell Reports 07/2013; · 7.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which arterial fate is established and maintained are not clearly understood. Although a number of signaling pathways and transcriptional regulators have been implicated in arterio-venous differentiation, none are essential for arterial formation, and the manner in which widely expressed factors may achieve arterial-specific gene regulation is unclear. Using both mouse and zebrafish models, we demonstrate here that arterial specification is regulated combinatorially by Notch signaling and SoxF transcription factors, via direct transcriptional gene activation. Through the identification and characterization of two arterial endothelial cell-specific gene enhancers for the Notch ligand Delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4), we show that arterial Dll4 expression requires the direct binding of both the RBPJ/Notch intracellular domain and SOXF transcription factors. Specific combinatorial, but not individual, loss of SOXF and RBPJ DNA binding ablates all Dll4 enhancer-transgene expression despite the presence of multiple functional ETS binding sites, as does knockdown of sox7;sox18 in combination with loss of Notch signaling. Furthermore, triple knockdown of sox7, sox18 and rbpj also results in ablation of endogenous dll4 expression. Fascinatingly, this combinatorial ablation leads to a loss of arterial markers and the absence of a detectable dorsal aorta, demonstrating the essential roles of SoxF and Notch, together, in the acquisition of arterial identity.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics. 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The first haematopoietic stem cells share a common origin with the dorsal aorta and derive from putative adult haemangioblasts in the dorsal lateral plate (DLP) mesoderm. Here we show that the transcription factor (TF) stem cell leukaemia (Scl/Tal1) is crucial for development of these adult haemangioblasts in Xenopus and establish the regulatory cascade controlling its expression. We show that VEGFA produced in the somites is required to initiate adult haemangioblast programming in the adjacent DLP by establishing endogenous VEGFA signalling. This response depends on expression of the VEGF receptor Flk1, driven by Fli1 and Gata2. Scl activation requires synergy between this VEGFA-controlled pathway and a VEGFA-independent pathway controlled by Fli1, Gata2 and Etv2/Etsrp/ER71, which also drives expression of the Scl partner Lmo2. Thus, the two ETS factors Fli1 and Etv6, which drives the VEGFA expression in both somites and the DLP, sit at the top of the adult haemangioblast gene regulatory network (GRN). Furthermore, Gata2 is initially activated by Fli1 but later maintained by another ETS factor, Etv2. We also establish that Flk1 and Etv2 act independently in the two pathways to Scl activation. Thus, detailed temporal, epistatic measurements of key TFs and VEGFA plus its receptor have enabled us to build a Xenopus adult haemangioblast GRN.
    Development 05/2013; · 6.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reprogramming of somatic cells to desired cell-types holds great promise in regenerative medicine. However, production of transplantable hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro by defined factors has not yet been achieved. Therefore, it is critical to fully understand the molecular mechanisms of HSC development in vivo. Here we show that Fev, an ETS transcription factor, is a pivotal regulator of HSC development in vertebrates. In fev-deficient zebrafish embryos, the first definitive HSC population was compromised and fewer T cells were found in the thymus. Genetic and chemical analyses support a mechanism whereby Fev regulates HSC through direct regulation of ERK signaling. Blastula transplant assay demonstrates that Fev regulation of HSC development is cell autonomous. Experiments performed with purified cord blood show that fev is expressed and functions in primitive HSCs in humans, indicating its conserved role in higher vertebrates. Our data indicate that Fev-ERK signaling is essential for hemogenic endothelium-based HSC development.
    Blood 04/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: VEGFA signaling is critical for endothelial and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) specification. However, blood defects resulting from perturbation of the VEGFA pathway are always accompanied by impaired vascular/arterial development. Because HSCs derive from arterial cells, it is unclear whether VEGFA directly contributes to HSC specification. This is an important question for our understanding of how HSCs are formed and for developing their production in vitro. Through knockdown of the regulator ETO2 in embryogenesis, we report a specific decrease in expression of medium/long Vegfa isoforms in somites. This leads to absence of Notch1 expression and failure of HSC specification in the dorsal aorta (DA), independently of vessel formation and arterial specification. Vegfa hypomorphs and isoform-specific (medium/long) morphants not only recapitulate this phenotype but also demonstrate that VEGFA short isoform is sufficient for DA development. Therefore, sequential, isoform-specific VEGFA signaling successively induces the endothelial, arterial, and HSC programs in the DA.
    Developmental Cell 01/2013; · 12.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two-thirds of gene promoters in mammals are associated with regions of non-methylated DNA, called CpG islands (CGIs), which counteract the repressive effects of DNA methylation on chromatin. In cold-blooded vertebrates, computational CGI predictions often reside away from gene promoters, suggesting a major divergence in gene promoter architecture across vertebrates. By experimentally identifying non-methylated DNA in the genomes of seven diverse vertebrates, we instead reveal that non-methylated islands (NMIs) of DNA are a central feature of vertebrate gene promoters. Furthermore, NMIs are present at orthologous genes across vast evolutionary distances, revealing a surprising level of conservation in this epigenetic feature. By profiling NMIs in different tissues and developmental stages we uncover a unifying set of features that are central to the function of NMIs in vertebrates. Together these findings demonstrate an ancient logic for NMI usage at gene promoters and reveal an unprecedented level of epigenetic conservation across vertebrate evolution.
    eLife Sciences 01/2013; 2:e00348.
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    ABSTRACT: Delta-like 4 (DLL4), a membrane-bound ligand belonging to the Notch signaling family, plays a fundamental role in vascular development and angiogenesis. We identified a conserved microRNA family, miR-30, which targets DLL4. Overexpression of miR-30b in endothelial cells led to increased vessel number and length in an in vitro model of sprouting angiogenesis. Microinjection of miR-30 mimics into zebrafish embryos resulted in suppression of dll4 and subsequent excessive sprouting of intersegmental vessels and reduction in dorsal aorta diameter. Use of a target protector against the miR-30 site within the dll4 3'UTR upregulated dll4 and synergized with Vegfa signaling knockdown to inhibit angiogenesis. Furthermore, restoration of miR-30b or -30c expression during Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) infection attenuated viral induction of DLL4. Together these results demonstrate that the highly conserved molecular targeting of DLL4 by the miR-30 family regulates angiogenesis.
    Blood 10/2012; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RUNX1 is known to be an essential transcription factor for generating hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), but much less is known about its role in the downstream process of hematopoietic differentiation. RUNX1 has been shown to be part of a large transcription factor complex, together with LDB1, GATA1, TAL1, and ETO2 (N. Meier et al., Development 133:4913-4923, 2006) in erythroid cells. We used a tagging strategy to show that RUNX1 interacts with two novel protein partners, LSD1 and MYEF2, in erythroid cells. MYEF2 is bound in undifferentiated cells and is lost upon differentiation, whereas LSD1 is bound in differentiated cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) and microarray expression analysis were used to show that RUNX1 binds approximately 9,000 target sites in erythroid cells and is primarily active in the undifferentiated state. Functional analysis shows that a subset of the target genes is suppressed by RUNX1 via the newly identified partner MYEF2. Knockdown of Myef2 expression in developing zebrafish results in a reduced number of HSC.
    Molecular and cellular biology 07/2012; 32(19):3814-22. · 6.06 Impact Factor
  • Chunxia Zhang, Roger Patient, Feng Liu
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are a population of multipotent cells that can self-renew and differentiate into all blood lineages. HSC development must be tightly controlled from cell fate determination to self-maintenance during adulthood. This involves a panel of important developmental signaling pathways and other factors which act synergistically within the HSC population and/or in the HSC niche. Genetically conserved processes of HSC development plus many other developmental advantages make the zebrafish an ideal model organism to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms underlying HSC programming. SCOPE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes recent progress on zebrafish HSCs with particular focus on how developmental signaling controls hemogenic endothelium-derived HSC development. We also describe the interaction of different signaling pathways during these processes. MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: The hematopoietic stem cell system is a paradigm for stem cell studies. Use of the zebrafish model to study signaling regulation of HSCs in vivo has resulted in a great deal of information concerning HSC biology in vertebrates. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: These new findings facilitate a better understanding of molecular mechanisms of HSC programming, and will provide possible new strategies for the treatment of HSC-related hematological diseases, such as leukemia. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2012; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple signaling pathways control the specification of endothelial cells (ECs) to become arteries or veins during vertebrate embryogenesis. Current models propose that a cascade of Hedgehog (Hh), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and Notch signaling acts instructively on ECs to control the choice between arterial or venous fate. Differences in the phenotypes induced by Hh, VEGF, or Notch inhibition suggest that not all of the effects of Hh on arteriovenous specification are mediated by VEGF. We establish that full derepression of the Hh pathway in ptc1;ptc2 mutants converts the posterior cardinal vein into a second arterial vessel that manifests intact arterial gene expression, intersegmental vessel sprouting, and HSC gene expression. Importantly, although VEGF was thought to be absolutely essential for arterial fates, we find that normal and ectopic arterial differentiation can occur without VEGF signaling in ptc1;ptc2 mutants. Furthermore, Hh is able to bypass VEGF to induce arterial differentiation in ECs via the calcitonin receptor-like receptor, thus revealing a surprising complexity in the interplay between Hh and VEGF signaling during arteriovenous specification. Finally, our experiments establish a dual function of Hh during induction of runx1(+) HSCs.
    Blood 06/2012; 120(2):477-88. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The stepwise commitment from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow to T lymphocyte-restricted progenitors in the thymus represents a paradigm for understanding the requirement for distinct extrinsic cues during different stages of lineage restriction from multipotent to lineage-restricted progenitors. However, the commitment stage at which progenitors migrate from the bone marrow to the thymus remains unclear. Here we provide functional and molecular evidence at the single-cell level that the earliest progenitors in the neonatal thymus had combined granulocyte-monocyte, T lymphocyte and B lymphocyte lineage potential but not megakaryocyte-erythroid lineage potential. These potentials were identical to those of candidate thymus-seeding progenitors in the bone marrow, which were closely related at the molecular level. Our findings establish the distinct lineage-restriction stage at which the T cell lineage-commitment process transits from the bone marrow to the remote thymus.
    Nature Immunology 02/2012; 13(4):412-9. · 26.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Across vertebrate genomes methylation of cytosine residues within the context of CpG dinucleotides is a pervasive epigenetic mark that can impact gene expression and has been implicated in various developmental and disease-associated processes. Several biochemical approaches exist to profile DNA methylation, but recently an alternative approach based on profiling non-methylated CpGs was developed. This technique, called CxxC affinity purification (CAP), uses a ZF-CxxC (CxxC) domain to specifically capture DNA containing clusters of non-methylated CpGs. Here we describe a new CAP approach, called biotinylated CAP (Bio-CAP), which eliminates the requirement for specialized equipment while dramatically improving and simplifying the CxxC-based DNA affinity purification. Importantly, this approach isolates non-methylated DNA in a manner that is directly proportional to the density of non-methylated CpGs, and discriminates non-methylated CpGs from both methylated and hydroxymethylated CpGs. Unlike conventional CAP, Bio-CAP can be applied to nanogram quantities of genomic DNA and in a magnetic format is amenable to efficient parallel processing of samples. Furthermore, Bio-CAP can be applied to genome-wide profiling of non-methylated DNA with relatively small amounts of input material. Therefore, Bio-CAP is a simple and streamlined approach for characterizing regions of the non-methylated DNA, whether at specific target regions or genome wide.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2011; 40(4):e32. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blood flow has long been thought to be important for vessel development and function, but its role in HSC development is not yet fully understood. Here, we take advantage of zebrafish embryos with circulation defects that retain relatively normal early development to illustrate the combinatorial roles of genetic and hemodynamic forces in HSC development. We show that blood flow is not required for initiation of HSC gene expression, but instead is indispensable for its maintenance. Knockdown of klf2a mimics the silent heart (sih/tnnt2a) phenotype while overexpression of klf2a in tnnt2a morphant embryos can rescue HSC defects, suggesting that klf2a is a downstream mediator of blood flow. Furthermore, the expression of NO synthase (nos) was reduced in klf2a knockdown embryos, and ChIP analysis showed that endogenous Klf2a is bound to the promoters of nos genes in vivo, indicating direct gene regulation. Finally, administration of the NO agonist S-nitroso N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) can restore HSC development in tnnt2a and klf2a morphants, suggesting that NO signaling is downstream of Klf2a which is induced by hemodynamic forces. Taken together, we have demonstrated that blood flow is essential for HSC development and is mediated by a klf2a-NO signaling cascade in zebrafish.
    Blood 08/2011; 118(15):4102-10. · 9.78 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
938.04 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2014
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
      • • Molecular Haematology Unit
      • • Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011–2013
    • Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology
      • State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
  • 2012
    • Imperial College London
      • Institute of Clinical Sciences
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000–2009
    • University of Nottingham
      • • School of Biology
      • • Centre for Sports Medicine
      Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 1987–2001
    • King's College London
      • • School of Biomedical Sciences
      • • Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1999
    • The Kings College
      Johnson Lane, Nevada, United States
  • 1991–1999
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • ICL
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1983
    • King College
      North Carolina, United States