The role of IGF2 in the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell function
MetadataShow full item record
Maintenance of the hematopoietic system is dependent upon the proper regulation and orchestrated functions of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) pool. A number of extrinsic signaling pathways and intrinsic regulators have been found to regulate HSC processes. However a full understanding of the ability of HSC to balance the processes of self-renewal, quiescence, and lineage specification is not yet clear. We therefore set out to identify novel HSC regulators by comparative gene expression analysis of whole genome transcriptomes generated for long-term (LT)-HSC (Hoechst low/- Lin- Sca1+ cKit+ CD34-), short-term (ST)-HSC (Hoechst low/- Lin- Sca1+ cKit+ CD34+), and non-HSC (Hoechst+) of the bone marrow. These studies identified IGF2 as one of the most differentially expressed genes within LT-HSC, suggesting a potential role for IGF2 in the regulation of HSC. Using a combination of lentiviral-mediated overexpression and knockdown experiments, we found IGF2 to confer enhanced self-renewal in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of IGF2 resulted in an increased percentage of multi-lineage colonies within colony-forming unit (CFU) assays without affecting lineage specification. In vivo, serial bone marrow transplantation revealed that IGF2 within HSC enhances short-term and long-term donor contribution. Analysis of the expression of key cell cycle regulators revealed that IGF2 induced upregulation of p57 expression specifically within HSC. This upregulation could be attributed to differences in the methylation status of the p57 promoter in HSC compared to other progenitor and mature blood cell populations. p57, a member of the Cip/Kip family of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors, has recently been shown to be required for the regulation of HSC quiescence and long-term self-renewal. Analysis of bone marrow obtained from primary and secondary transplant recipients showed that overexpression of IGF2 resulted in an increased percentage of quiescent HSC. Treatment of HSC overexpressing IGF2 with LY294002, a PI3K-Akt inhibitor, prevented IGF2-mediated upregulation of p57 expression. These findings demonstrate that within HSC, IGF2 induces p57 expression through activation of the PI3K-Akt pathway to regulate HSC quiescence. We have identified a novel role for IGF2 in HSC function, providing new insights into the biology of HSC and opening potential platforms for the development of better therapies involving HSC-mediated hematopoietic reconstitution.