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642 Ing4 Regulates Hematopoiesis through Suppression of NF-Kb

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 502. Hematopoiesis: Regulation of Gene Transcription, Apoptosis, and Cell Cycle Regulation: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Regeneration, Aging, and Differentiation
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Biological Processes, epigenetics, hematopoiesis
Monday, December 3, 2018: 11:45 AM
Pacific Ballroom 24 (Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina)

Zanshe Thompson1*, Vera Binder, MD2*, Michelle Ammerman3,4*, Ellen Durand3*, Leonard Zon, MD5 and Katie Kathrein, PhD6

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
2Dr. von Hauner University Children's Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
3Stem Cell Program and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
4Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
5Stem Cell Program and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Harvard University, Boston, MA
6Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Hematopoiesis is tightly regulated by a network of transcription factors and complexes that are required for the maintenance and development of HSCs. In a screen for epigenetic regulators of hematopoiesis in zebrafish, we identified a requirement of the tumor suppressor protein, Ing4, in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) specification. Though the Ing4 mechanism of action remains poorly characterized, it has been shown to promote stem-like cell characteristics in malignant cells. This activity is, in part, due to the inhibitory role of Ing4 in the NF-kB signaling pathway. In the absence of Ing4, there is a significant increase in NF-kB target gene expression. As in the zebrafish, we have identified a requirement for Ing4 in murine hematopoiesis, where Ing4 deficiency impairs hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function, but enhances multipotent progenitor cell (MPP) regenerative capacity. Given the role of Ing4 in both normal hematopoiesis and cancer, this gene likely has a critical role in regulation of stem cell self-renewal and maintenance.

To define the role of Ing4 in zebrafish HSPCs, we designed an anti-sense morpholino oligo against Ing4 and injected into zebrafish embryos at the single cell stage. Embryos were screened using in situ hybridizations for c-myb and runx1 expression, which are highly expressed in the aorta, gonad, mesonephros (AGM) region in the developing zebrafish embryo. We found that Ing4-deficient zebrafish embryos lose >90% of runx1+/c-myb+ cells in the AGM, demonstrating a lack of HSPC specification. Analysis of ephrinB2 expression showed normal specification of the aorta in Ing4 morphant embryos, signifying that the step of HSPC specification is affected in the absence of Ing4. Overexpression of human Ing4 in zebrafish embryos resulted in increased HSPC marker staining suggesting that normal expression levels of Ing4 are required for HSC specification.

As Ing4 is an epigenetic regulator that binds specific gene loci, we examined the chromatin occupancy of Ing4 in human peripheral blood CD34+ progenitor cells. Using ChIP-seq for Ing4 in CD34+ cells, we show that Ing4 binds to many regulators of blood development including MYB, LMO2, RUNX1, and IKAROS, and several NF-kB target genes. In other tissues, Ing4 negatively regulates NF-kB, so accordingly, loss of Ing4 results in an overabundance of NF-kB signaling. To address NF-kB target gene expression in Ing4-deficient zebrafish embryos, we performed qPCR analysis at 36hpf. These assays showed an increase in the expression of a subset of NF-kB target genes (IKBKE, IL-19, IL-1b, IL-20R). Simultaneous knockdown of both Ing4 and RelA, through combined morpholino injections against both factors, resulted in the rescue of HSC marker expression in the aorta. These results suggest that NF-kB inhibition could remediate the loss of Ing4.

A mouse model for Ing4 deficiency was generated to further evaluate the role of Ing4 in differentiated immune cells. These mice are developmentally normal but are hypersensitive to stimulation with LPS. Interestingly, we found that Ing4-/- mice showed skewed hematopoiesis resulting in an increase in the number of short term-HSCs (ST-HSCs) (11.4% vs 31.7%) and a dramatic decrease in multipotent progenitor cells (MPPs) (47.9% vs 19.3%) along with concurrent modest increase in the population of long-term HSCs (LT-HSCs) (2.4% vs 5.5%). Additionally, there were alterations in stress hematopoiesis following hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Sorted LT-HSCs fail to engraft, suggesting an evolutionarily conserved requirement for Ing4 in HSCs. Surprisingly, competitive transplantation assay with Ing4-defecient MPPs versus wild-type showed dramatic increase in peripheral blood multilineage chimerism up to 9 months post-transplantation (19% vs. 59%). This lends to the hypothesis that Ing4 deficient MPPs gain self-renewal capabilities. Based on these exciting findings, we hypothesize that Ing4 normally functions as a critical suppressor for genes required for self-renewal and developmental potency in MPPs. Overall, our findings suggest that Ing4 plays a crucial role in the regulation of hematopoiesis and provides key tools for further identification and characterization of Ing4 pathways and functions.

Disclosures: Zon: Celularity: Consultancy, Other: Stock options; Scholar Rock, Inc.: Equity Ownership, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Fate Therapeutics: Equity Ownership, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; CAMP4 Therapeutics: Equity Ownership, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees.

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