Miyake N, Brun AC, Magnusson M, Miyake K, Scadden DT, Karlsson S. 2006. HOXB4-induced self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells is significantly enhanced by p21 deficiency. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 24(3):653-61. Pubmed: 16210402


Enforced expression of the HOXB4 transcription factor and downregulation of p21(Cip1/Waf) (p21) can each independently increase proliferation of murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We asked whether the increase in HSC self-renewal generated by overexpression of HOXB4 is enhanced in p21-deficient HSCs. HOXB4 was overexpressed in hematopoietic cells from wild-type (wt) and p21-/- mice. Bone marrow (BM) cells were transduced with a retroviral vector expressing HOXB4 together with GFP (MIGB4), or a control vector containing GFP alone (MIG) and maintained in liquid culture for up to 11 days. At day 11 of the expansion culture, the number of primary CFU-GM (colony-forming unit granulocyte-macrophage) colonies and the repopulating ability were significantly increased in MIGB4 p21-/- BM (p21B4) cells compared with MIGB4-transduced wt BM (wtB4) cells. To test proliferation of HSCs in vivo, we performed competitive repopulation experiments and obtained significantly higher long-term engraftment of expanded p21B4 cells compared with wtB4 cells. The 5-day expansion of p21B4 HSCs generated 100-fold higher numbers of competitive repopulating units compared with wtMIG and threefold higher numbers compared with wtB4. The findings demonstrate that increased expression of HOXB4, in combination with suppression of p21 expression, could be a useful strategy for effective and robust expansion of HSCs.

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David Scadden’s laboratory is dedicated to discovering the principles governing blood cell production, with the ultimate goal of guiding the development of therapies for blood disorders and cancer.

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