The mTOR pathway is a critical determinant of cell persistence and growth wherein mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) mediates a balance between growth factor stimuli and nutrient availability. Amino acids or glucose facilitates mTORC1 activation by inducing RagA GTPase recruitment of mTORC1 to the lysosomal outer surface, enabling activation of mTOR by the Ras homolog Rheb. Thereby, RagA alters mTORC1-driven growth in times of nutrient abundance or scarcity. Here, we have evaluated differential nutrient-sensing dependence through RagA and mTORC1 in hematopoietic progenitors, which dynamically drive mature cell production, and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which provide a quiescent cellular reserve. In nutrient-abundant conditions, RagA-deficient HSC were functionally unimpaired and upregulated mTORC1 via nutrient-insensitive mechanisms. RagA was also dispensable for HSC function under nutritional stress conditions. Similarly, hyperactivation of RagA did not affect HSC function. In contrast, RagA deficiency markedly altered progenitor population function and mature cell output. Therefore, RagA is a molecular mechanism that distinguishes the functional attributes of reactive progenitors from a reserve stem cell pool. The indifference of HSC to nutrient sensing through RagA contributes to their molecular resilience to nutritional stress, a characteristic that is relevant to organismal viability in evolution and in modern HSC transplantation approaches.
Demetrios Kalaitzidis, Dongjun Lee, Alejo Efeyan, Youmna Kfoury, Naema Nayyar, David B. Sykes, Francois E. Mercier, Ani Papazian, Ninib Baryawno, Gabriel D. Victora, Donna Neuberg, David M. Sabatini, David T. Scadden
A hallmark of aged mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSCs) in bone marrow is the pivot of differentiation potency from osteoblast to adipocyte coupled with a decrease in self-renewal capacity. However, how these cellular events are orchestrated in the aging progress is not fully understood. In this study, we have used molecular and genetic approaches to investigate the role of forkhead box P1 (FOXP1) in transcriptional control of MSC senescence. In bone marrow MSCs, FOXP1 expression levels declined with age in an inverse manner with those of the senescence marker
Hanjun Li, Pei Liu, Shuqin Xu, Yinghua Li, Joseph D. Dekker, Baojie Li, Ying Fan, Zhenlin Zhang, Yang Hong, Gong Yang, Tingting Tang, Yongxin Ren, Haley O. Tucker, Zhengju Yao, Xizhi Guo
The BM niche comprises a tightly controlled microenvironment formed by specific tissue and cells that regulates the behavior of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here, we have provided a 3D model that is tunable in different BM niche components and useful, both in vitro and in vivo, for studying the maintenance of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Using scaffolds, we tested the capacity of different stromal cell types to support human HSCs. Scaffolds coated with human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) proved to be superior in terms of HSC engraftment and long-term maintenance when implanted in vivo. Moreover, we found that hMSC-coated scaffolds can be modulated to form humanized bone tissue, which was also able to support human HSC engraftment. Importantly, hMSC-coated humanized scaffolds were able to support the growth of leukemia patient cells in vivo, including the growth of samples that would not engraft the BM of immunodeficient mice. These results demonstrate that an s.c. implantation approach in a 3D carrier scaffold seeded with stromal cells is an effective in vivo niche model for studying human hematopoiesis. The various niche components of this model can be changed depending on the context to improve the engraftment of nonengrafting acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples.
Ander Abarrategi, Katie Foster, Ashley Hamilton, Syed A. Mian, Diana Passaro, John Gribben, Ghulam Mufti, Dominique Bonnet
Current chemotherapies for T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) efficiently reduce tumor mass. Nonetheless, disease relapse attributed to survival of preleukemic stem cells (pre-LSCs) is associated with poor prognosis. Herein, we provide direct evidence that pre-LSCs are much less chemosensitive to existing chemotherapy drugs than leukemic blasts because of a distinctive lower proliferative state. Improving therapies for T-ALL requires the development of strategies to target pre-LSCs that are absolutely dependent on their microenvironment. Therefore, we designed a robust protocol for high-throughput screening of compounds that target primary pre-LSCs maintained in a niche-like environment, on stromal cells that were engineered for optimal NOTCH1 activation. The multiparametric readout takes into account the intrinsic complexity of primary cells in order to specifically monitor pre-LSCs, which were induced here by the
Bastien Gerby, Diogo F.T. Veiga, Jana Krosl, Sami Nourreddine, Julianne Ouellette, André Haman, Geneviève Lavoie, Iman Fares, Mathieu Tremblay, Véronique Litalien, Elizabeth Ottoni, Milena Kosic, Dominique Geoffrion, Joël Ryan, Paul S. Maddox, Jalila Chagraoui, Anne Marinier, Josée Hébert, Guy Sauvageau, Benjamin H. Kwok, Philippe P. Roux, Trang Hoang
Certain secretory proteins are known to be critical for maintaining the stemness of stem cells through autocrine signaling. However, the processes underlying the biogenesis, maturation, and secretion of these proteins remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that many secretory proteins produced by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) undergo exosomal maturation and release that is controlled by vacuolar protein sorting protein 33b (VPS33B). Deletion of
Hao Gu, Chiqi Chen, Xiaoxin Hao, Conghui Wang, Xiaocui Zhang, Zhen Li, Hongfang Shao, Hongxiang Zeng, Zhuo Yu, Li Xie, Fangzhen Xia, Feifei Zhang, Xiaoye Liu, Yaping Zhang, Haishan Jiang, Jun Zhu, Jiangbo Wan, Chun Wang, Wei Weng, Jingjing Xie, Minfang Tao, Cheng Cheng Zhang, Junling Liu, Guo-Qiang Chen, Junke Zheng
Radiotherapy causes dose-limiting toxicity and long-term complications in rapidly renewing tissues, including the gastrointestinal tract. Currently, there is no FDA-approved agent for the prevention or treatment of radiation-induced intestinal injury. In this study, we have shown that PD 0332991 (PD), an FDA-approved selective inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6), prevents radiation-induced lethal intestinal injury in mice. Treating mice with PD or a structurally distinct CDK4/6 inhibitor prior to radiation blocked proliferation and crypt apoptosis and improved crypt regeneration. PD treatment also enhanced LGR5+ stem cell survival and regeneration after radiation. PD was an on-target inhibitor of RB phosphorylation and blocked G1/S transition in the intestinal crypts. PD treatment strongly but reversibly inhibited radiation-induced p53 activation, which blocked p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis–dependent (PUMA-dependent) apoptosis without affecting p21-dependent suppression of DNA damage accumulation, with a repair bias toward nonhomologous end joining. Further, deletion of
Liang Wei, Brian J. Leibowitz, Xinwei Wang, Michael Epperly, Joel Greenberger, Lin Zhang, Jian Yu
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and progressive muscle-wasting disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Although dystrophin deficiency in myofiber triggers the disease’s pathological changes, the degree of satellite cell (SC) dysfunction defines disease progression. Here, we have identified chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter–transcription factor II (COUP-TFII) hyperactivity as a contributing factor underlying muscular dystrophy in a dystrophin-deficient murine model of DMD. Ectopic expression of COUP-TFII in murine SCs led to Duchenne-like dystrophy in the muscles of control animals and exacerbated degenerative myopathies in dystrophin-deficient mice. COUP-TFII–overexpressing mice exhibited regenerative failure that was attributed to deficient SC proliferation and myoblast fusion. Mechanistically, we determined that COUP-TFII coordinated a regenerative program through combined regulation of multiple promyogenic factors. Furthermore, inhibition of COUP-TFII preserved SC function and counteracted the muscle weakness associated with Duchenne-like dystrophy in the murine model, suggesting that targeting COUP-TFII is a potential treatment for DMD. Together, our findings reveal a regulatory role of COUP-TFII in the development of muscular dystrophy and open up a potential therapeutic opportunity for managing disease progression in patients with DMD.
Xin Xie, Sophia Y. Tsai, Ming-Jer Tsai
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) serve as a life-long reservoir for all blood cell types and are clinically useful for a variety of HSC transplantation-based therapies. Understanding the role of chromatin organization and regulation in HSC homeostasis may provide important insights into HSC development. Bromodomain- and PHD finger–containing protein 1 (BRPF1) is a multivalent chromatin regulator that possesses 4 nucleosome-binding domains and activates 3 lysine acetyltransferases (KAT6A, KAT6B, and KAT7), suggesting that this protein has the potential to stimulate crosstalk between different chromatin modifications. Here, we investigated the function of BRPF1 in hematopoiesis by selectively deleting its gene in murine blood cells.
Linya You, Lin Li, Jinfeng Zou, Kezhi Yan, Jad Belle, Anastasia Nijnik, Edwin Wang, Xiang-Jiao Yang
Vision impairments and blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa result from severe neurodegeneration that leads to a loss of photoreceptors, the specialized light-sensitive neurons that enable vision. Although the mammalian nervous system is unable to replace neurons lost due to degeneration, therapeutic approaches to reprogram resident glial cells to replace retinal neurons have been proposed. Here, we demonstrate that retinal Müller glia can be reprogrammed in vivo into retinal precursors that then differentiate into photoreceptors. We transplanted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) into retinas affected by photoreceptor degeneration and observed spontaneous cell fusion events between Müller glia and the transplanted cells. Activation of Wnt signaling in the transplanted HSPCs enhanced survival and proliferation of Müller-HSPC hybrids as well as their reprogramming into intermediate photoreceptor precursors. This suggests that Wnt signaling drives the reprogrammed cells toward a photoreceptor progenitor fate. Finally, Müller-HSPC hybrids differentiated into photoreceptors. Transplantation of HSPCs with activated Wnt functionally rescued the retinal degeneration phenotype in
Daniela Sanges, Giacoma Simonte, Umberto Di Vicino, Neus Romo, Isabel Pinilla, Marta Nicolás Farrés, Maria Pia Cosma
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a human stem cell disorder, and individuals with this disease have a substantially increased risk (~800-fold) of developing tumors. Epigenetic silencing of β2-spectrin (β2SP, encoded by
Jian Chen, Zhi-Xing Yao, Jiun-Sheng Chen, Young Jin Gi, Nina M. Muñoz, Suchin Kundra, H. Franklin Herlong, Yun Seong Jeong, Alexei Goltsov, Kazufumi Ohshiro, Nipun A. Mistry, Jianping Zhang, Xiaoping Su, Sanaa Choufani, Abhisek Mitra, Shulin Li, Bibhuti Mishra, Jon White, Asif Rashid, Alan Yaoqi Wang, Milind Javle, Marta Davila, Peter Michaely, Rosanna Weksberg, Wayne L. Hofstetter, Milton J. Finegold, Jerry W. Shay, Keigo Machida, Hidekazu Tsukamoto, Lopa Mishra
Current stem cell–based strategies for tissue regeneration involve ex vivo manipulation of these cells to confer features of the desired progenitor population. Recently, the concept that endogenous stem/progenitor cells could be used for regenerating tissues has emerged as a promising approach that potentially overcomes the obstacles related to cell transplantation. Here we applied this strategy for the regeneration of injured tendons in a rat model. First, we identified a rare fraction of tendon cells that was positive for the known tendon stem cell marker CD146 and exhibited clonogenic capacity, as well as multilineage differentiation ability. These tendon-resident CD146+ stem/progenitor cells were selectively enriched by connective tissue growth factor delivery (CTGF delivery) in the early phase of tendon healing, followed by tenogenic differentiation in the later phase. The time-controlled proliferation and differentiation of CD146+ stem/progenitor cells by CTGF delivery successfully led to tendon regeneration with densely aligned collagen fibers, normal level of cellularity, and functional restoration. Using siRNA knockdown to evaluate factors involved in tendon generation, we demonstrated that the FAK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway regulates CTGF-induced proliferation and differentiation of CD146+ stem/progenitor cells. Together, our findings support the use of endogenous stem/progenitor cells as a strategy for tendon regeneration without cell transplantation and suggest this approach warrants exploration in other tissues.
Chang H. Lee, Francis Y. Lee, Solaiman Tarafder, Kristy Kao, Yena Jun, Guodong Yang, Jeremy J. Mao
Bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a common precursor of both adipocytes and osteoblasts. While it is appreciated that PPARγ regulates the balance between adipogenesis and osteogenesis, the roles of additional regulators of this process remain controversial. Here, we show that MSCs isolated from mice lacking S-nitrosoglutathione reductase, a denitrosylase that regulates protein S-nitrosylation, exhibited decreased adipogenesis and increased osteoblastogenesis compared with WT MSCs. Consistent with this cellular phenotype, S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient mice were smaller, with reduced fat mass and increased bone formation that was accompanied by elevated bone resorption. WT and S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient MSCs exhibited equivalent PPARγ expression; however, S-nitrosylation of PPARγ was elevated in S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient MSCs, diminishing binding to its downstream target fatty acid–binding protein 4 (FABP4). We further identified Cys 139 of PPARγ as an S-nitrosylation site and demonstrated that S-nitrosylation of PPARγ inhibits its transcriptional activity, suggesting a feedback regulation of PPARγ transcriptional activity by NO-mediated S-nitrosylation. Together, these results reveal that S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–dependent modification of PPARγ alters the balance between adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation and provides checkpoint regulation of the lineage bifurcation of these 2 lineages. Moreover, these findings provide pathophysiological and therapeutic insights regarding MSC participation in adipogenesis and osteogenesis.
Yenong Cao, Samirah A. Gomes, Erika B. Rangel, Ellena C. Paulino, Tatiana L. Fonseca, Jinliang Li, Marilia B. Teixeira, Cecilia H. Gouveia, Antonio C. Bianco, Michael S. Kapiloff, Wayne Balkan, Joshua M. Hare
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) represent an alternative hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) source for treating hematopoietic disease. The limited engraftment of human PSC–derived (hPSC-derived) multipotent progenitor cells (MPP) has hampered the clinical application of these cells and suggests that MPP require additional cues for definitive hematopoiesis. We hypothesized that the presence of a vascular niche that produces Notch ligands jagged-1 (JAG1) and delta-like ligand-4 (DLL4) drives definitive hematopoiesis. We differentiated hes2 human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and
Jennifer L. Gori, Jason M. Butler, Yan-Yi Chan, Devikha Chandrasekaran, Michael G. Poulos, Michael Ginsberg, Daniel J. Nolan, Olivier Elemento, Brent L. Wood, Jennifer E. Adair, Shahin Rafii, Hans-Peter Kiem
Marta Byrska-Bishop, Daniel VanDorn, Amy E. Campbell, Marisol Betensky, Philip R. Arca, Yu Yao, Paul Gadue, Fernando F. Costa, Richard L. Nemiroff, Gerd A. Blobel, Deborah L. French, Ross C. Hardison, Mitchell J. Weiss, Stella T. Chou
The hypothalamus is the central regulator of systemic energy homeostasis, and its dysfunction can result in extreme body weight alterations. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region are critical to the understanding of obesity pathogenesis; however, human hypothalamic cells are largely inaccessible for direct study. Here, we developed a protocol for efficient generation of hypothalamic neurons from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from patients with monogenetic forms of obesity. Combined early activation of sonic hedgehog signaling followed by timed NOTCH inhibition in human ESCs/iPSCs resulted in efficient conversion into hypothalamic NKX2.1+ precursors. Application of a NOTCH inhibitor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) further directed the cells into arcuate nucleus hypothalamic-like neurons that express hypothalamic neuron markers proopiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AGRP), somatostatin, and dopamine. These hypothalamic-like neurons accounted for over 90% of differentiated cells and exhibited transcriptional profiles defined by a hypothalamic-specific gene expression signature that lacked pituitary markers. Importantly, these cells displayed hypothalamic neuron characteristics, including production and secretion of neuropeptides and increased p-AKT and p-STAT3 in response to insulin and leptin. Our results suggest that these hypothalamic-like neurons have potential for further investigation of the neurophysiology of body weight regulation and evaluation of therapeutic targets for obesity.
Liheng Wang, Kana Meece, Damian J. Williams, Kinyui Alice Lo, Matthew Zimmer, Garrett Heinrich, Jayne Martin Carli, Charles A. Leduc, Lei Sun, Lori M. Zeltser, Matthew Freeby, Robin Goland, Stephen H. Tsang, Sharon L. Wardlaw, Dieter Egli, Rudolph L. Leibel
Millions of patients worldwide are affected by craniofacial deformations caused by congenital defects or trauma. Current surgical interventions have limited therapeutic outcomes; therefore, methods that would allow cartilage restoration are of great interest. A number of studies on embryonic limb development have shown that chondrogenesis is initiated by cellular condensation, during which mesenchymal progenitors aggregate and form 3D structures. Here, we demonstrated efficient regeneration of avascular elastic cartilage from in vitro–grown mesenchymal condensation, which recapitulated the early stages of chondrogenesis, including transient vascularization. After transplantation of vascularized condensed progenitors into immunodeficient mice, we used an intravital imaging approach to follow cartilage maturation. We determined that endothelial cells are present inside rudimentary cartilage (mesenchymal condensation) prior to cartilage maturation. Recreation of endothelial interactions in culture enabled a recently identified population of adult elastic cartilage progenitors to generate mesenchymal condensation in a self-driven manner, without requiring the support of exogenous inductive factors or scaffold materials. Moreover, the culture-grown 3D condensed adult–derived progenitors were amenable to storage via simple freezing methods and efficiently reconstructed 3D elastic cartilage upon transplantation. Together, our results indicate that transplantation of endothelialized and condensed progenitors represents a promising approach to realizing a regenerative medicine treatment for craniofacial deformations.
Takanori Takebe, Shinji Kobayashi, Hiromu Suzuki, Mitsuru Mizuno, Yu-Min Chang, Emi Yoshizawa, Masaki Kimura, Ayaka Hori, Jun Asano, Jiro Maegawa, Hideki Taniguchi
Cord blood (CB) cells that express CD34 have extensive hematopoietic capacity and rapidly divide ex vivo in the presence of cytokine combinations; however, many of these CB CD34+ cells lose their marrow-repopulating potential. To overcome this decline in function, we treated dividing CB CD34+ cells ex vivo with several histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs). Treatment of CB CD34+ cells with the most active HDACI, valproic acid (VPA), following an initial 16-hour cytokine priming, increased the number of multipotent cells (CD34+CD90+) generated; however, the degree of expansion was substantially greater in the presence of both VPA and cytokines for a full 7 days. Treated CD34+ cells were characterized based on the upregulation of pluripotency genes, increased aldehyde dehydrogenase activity, and enhanced expression of CD90, c-Kit (CD117), integrin α6 (CD49f), and CXCR4 (CD184). Furthermore, siRNA-mediated inhibition of pluripotency gene expression reduced the generation of CD34+CD90+ cells by 89%. Compared with CB CD34+ cells, VPA-treated CD34+ cells produced a greater number of SCID-repopulating cells and established multilineage hematopoiesis in primary and secondary immune–deficient recipient mice. These data indicate that dividing CB CD34+ cells can be epigenetically reprogrammed by treatment with VPA so as to generate greater numbers of functional CB stem cells for use as transplantation grafts.
Pratima Chaurasia, David C. Gajzer, Christoph Schaniel, Sunita D’Souza, Ronald Hoffman
Peripheral nerve injuries and neuropathies lead to profound functional deficits. Here, we have demonstrated that muscle-derived stem/progenitor cells (MDSPCs) isolated from adult human skeletal muscle (hMDSPCs) can adopt neuronal and glial phenotypes in vitro and ameliorate a critical-sized sciatic nerve injury and its associated defects in a murine model. Transplanted hMDSPCs surrounded the axonal growth cone, while hMDSPCs infiltrating the regenerating nerve differentiated into myelinating Schwann cells. Engraftment of hMDSPCs into the area of the damaged nerve promoted axonal regeneration, which led to functional recovery as measured by sustained gait improvement. Furthermore, no adverse effects were observed in these animals up to 18 months after transplantation. Following hMDSPC therapy, gastrocnemius muscles from mice exhibited substantially less muscle atrophy, an increase in muscle mass after denervation, and reorganization of motor endplates at the postsynaptic sites compared with those from PBS-treated mice. Evaluation of nerve defects in animals transplanted with vehicle-only or myoblast-like cells did not reveal histological or functional recovery. These data demonstrate the efficacy of hMDSPC-based therapy for peripheral nerve injury and suggest that hMDSPC transplantation has potential to be translated for use in human neuropathies.
Mitra Lavasani, Seth D. Thompson, Jonathan B. Pollett, Arvydas Usas, Aiping Lu, Donna B. Stolz, Katherine A. Clark, Bin Sun, Bruno Péault, Johnny Huard
Corneal integrity and transparency are indispensable for good vision. Cornea homeostasis is entirely dependent upon corneal stem cells, which are required for complex wound-healing processes that restore corneal integrity following epithelial damage. Here, we found that leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains 1 (
Takahiro Nakamura, Junji Hamuro, Mikiro Takaishi, Szandor Simmons, Kazuichi Maruyama, Andrea Zaffalon, Adam J. Bentley, Satoshi Kawasaki, Maho Nagata-Takaoka, Nigel J. Fullwood, Satoshi Itami, Shigetoshi Sano, Masaru Ishii, Yann Barrandon, Shigeru Kinoshita
Tumor formation constitutes a major obstacle to the clinical application of embryonic stem cell–derived (ESC-derived) cells. In an attempt to find major extracellular signaling and intrinsic factors controlling tumorigenicity and therapeutic functionality of transplanted ESC-derived retinal progenitor cells (ESC-RPCs), we evaluated multiple kinds of ESC-RPCs in a mouse retinal degeneration model and conducted genome-wide gene expression profiling. We identified canonical WNT signaling as a critical determinant for the tumorigenicity and therapeutic function of ESC-RPCs. The function of WNT signaling is primarily mediated by TCF7, which directly induces expression of
Lu Cui, Yuan Guan, Zepeng Qu, Jingfa Zhang, Bing Liao, Bo Ma, Jiang Qian, Dangsheng Li, Weiye Li, Guo-Tong Xu, Ying Jin