Molecular mechanisms of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) protein function in hematopoiesis

Donghoon Yoon, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Hematopoietic growth factors play important roles in regulating blood cell growth and development in vivo. In this work, we investigated the signaling mechanisms of two growth factors with clinical significance, erythropoietin (Epo) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Epo is essential for the survival, proliferation and differentiation of red blood cell progenitors, while G-CSF plays an important role in controlling mature neutrophil production. To identify which amino acid(s) and/or motif in EpoR is responsible for cell survival, wild type or mutant EpoR isoforms were transfected into the growth factor-dependent 32D cell line. Proliferation and apoptosis assays demonstrated that an EpoR isoform that lacks intracellular tyrosine residues and is truncated after 321 amino acids in the cytoplasmic tail (EpoR 1-321) mediates Epo-dependent cell survival. Furthermore, in absence of fetal calf serum (FCS), Epo signaling through wild type or mutant receptors supported anti-apoptosis, but not proliferation during 72 hours in response to Epo. To investigate the signaling pathway by which EpoR regulates cell survival, a dominant negative Stat5b (dnStat5b) isoform was generated and coexpressed with EpoR in stable cell lines. Expression of dnStat5b causes a significant induction of apoptosis in the presence of Epo in cells expressing EpoR 1-321, indicating that Stat5 is essential for survival signaling through tyrosine independent sequences in the EpoR. In a second project to investigate G-CSF signaling, we studied mechanisms by which G-CSF regulates the expression of PU.1, an important transcription factor in myeloid and B cell development. We demonstrated, by immunoblot and real time RT-PCR, that PU.1 is induced by G-CSF ex vivo as well as in vivo. To test whether G-CSF signaling through Stat3 is required for PU.1 regulation, the upstream region of the PU.1 gene was analyzed for potential Stat3 binding motifs. Four potential sites were identified; chromatin immunoprecipitations demonstrated that G-CSF activated Stat3 binds to 3 of the 4 binding motifs. In addition, PU.1 induction by G-CSF was completely abrogated in bone marrow from hematopoietic conditional Stat3 knockout mice. These results indicate an important role for Stat3 in G-CSF-dependent PU.1 gene regulation. Collectively, our works demonstrate that Stat protein play important and diverse roles in hematopoietic growth factor signaling.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Yoon, Donghoon, "Molecular mechanisms of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) protein function in hematopoiesis" (2004). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3138890.