Shao L, Chang J, Feng W, Wang X, Williamson EA, Li Y, Schajnovitz A, Scadden D, Mortensen LJ, Lin CP, Li L, Paulson A, Downing J, Zhou D, Hromas RA. 2018. The Wave2 scaffold Hem-1 is required for transition of fetal liver hematopoiesis to bone marrow. Nature communications. 9(1):2377. Pubmed: 29915352 DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-04716-5


The transition of hematopoiesis from the fetal liver (FL) to the bone marrow (BM) is incompletely characterized. We demonstrate that the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE) complex 2 is required for this transition, as complex degradation via deletion of its scaffold Hem-1 causes the premature exhaustion of neonatal BM hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). This exhaustion of BM HSC is due to the failure of BM engraftment of Hem-1 FL HSCs, causing early death. The Hem-1 FL HSC engraftment defect is not due to the lack of the canonical function of the WAVE2 complex, the regulation of actin polymerization, because FL HSCs from Hem-1 mice exhibit no defects in chemotaxis, BM homing, or adhesion. Rather, the failure of Hem-1 FL HSC engraftment in the marrow is due to the loss of c-Abl survival signaling from degradation of the WAVE2 complex. However, c-Abl activity is dispensable for the engraftment of adult BM HSCs into the BM. These findings reveal a novel function of the WAVE2 complex and define a mechanism for FL HSC fitness in the embryonic BM niche.

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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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