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328 Ing4 Suppresses Quiescence and Inflammation in Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 502. Hematopoiesis: Regulation of Gene Transcription, Cytokines, Signal Transduction, Apoptosis, and Cell Cycle Regulation: Molecular regulation of cell fate and regeneration
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
HSCs, Animal models, Biological Processes, Technology and Procedures, Cell Lineage, Study Population, hematopoiesis, flow cytometry, inflammation, pathways
Sunday, December 6, 2020: 10:30 AM

Zanshe Thompson, MS1*, Melanie Rodriguez, MS2*, Georgina Anderson, MS, MA2*, Seth Gabriel, MS2*, Vera Binder, MD3*, Leonard I. Zon, MD4 and Katie L Kathrein, PhD2

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

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) development and maintenance is regulated through a complex regulatory network. In a screen of epigenetic regulators of hematopoiesis in zebrafish, we identified a requirement for the tumor suppressor protein, Inhibitor of growth 4 (Ing4) in HSPC specification. Ing4 acts to regulate transcription through interactions with transcription factors, including HIF, NF-kB, and p53. It is often mis-expressed in many human cancers and has been shown to promote stem cell-like characteristics in malignant cells, in part, due to the inhibitory role of Ing4 in the NF-kB signaling pathway.

The transcription factor NF-kB is a regulator of inflammatory response and serves an important role in embryonic HSPC emergence, survival, differentiation and proliferation. The Ing4 protein binds to the p65/RelA subunit of NF-kB, inhibiting DNA binding and suppressing NF-kB cytokines and inflammatory pathways. In the absence of Ing4 there is an overexpression of NF-kB target genes that have inhibitory effects on hematopoietic programming. Given the regulatory role of Ing4 in both hematopoiesis and cancer, it is likely critical to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal, maintenance and specialization.

To better define the role of Ing4 on hematopoiesis we use two Ing4 loss-of-function models: zebrafish and mouse. For the zebrafish model of Ing4 deficiency, Ing4-deficient zebrafish embryos lose >90% of runx1+/c-myb+ cells in the aorta, gonad, mesonephros (AGM) region of the developing zebrafish embryo, demonstrating a lack of HSPC specification. 36 hours post fertilization (hpf) Ing4 morphants display increased expression of NF-kB target genes when Ing4 is absent. Genetic epistasis experiments performed to block translation of RelA, IL-1b, and additional NF-kB target gene mRNA revealed recovered HSC marker expression in the aorta. To discover small molecule inhibitors that would mimic these effects, we conducted an in vivo chemical screen of NF-kB pathway inhibitors assessing their ability to rescue HSC specification in Ing4 morphant zebrafish. Ing4 morphants treated with NF-kB inhibitors had reduced NF-kB cytokine expression, as well as a dose-dependent rescue of HSC marker expression in the aorta. These results suggest that NF-kB inhibition could remediate the effects of Ing4 loss on hematopoiesis.

To more thoroughly profile the effects of Ing4 loss on HSC specification and the bone marrow niche, an Ing4-/-mouse model was used. These mice are developmentally normal but are hypersensitive to stimulation with LPS due to increased inflammatory signaling. Peripheral blood analysis reveals an increase in Mac-1 cells in the Ing4-/- mouse. Ing4-/- bone marrow progenitors are skewed toward granulocyte-myocyte progenitor cells (GMPs) lending to the shift in cell populations present in the peripheral blood. Ing4 loss further disrupts the mouse hematopoietic program resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of short term-HSCs (ST-HSC) (WT: 11.4%, Null: 31.7%), a modest increase in long term-HSCs (LT-HSC) (WT: 2.4%, Null: 5.52%), and a dramatic decrease in multipotent progenitors (MPPs) (WT: 47.9%, Null: 19.3%). We also found significant alterations in stress hematopoiesis following competitive HSC transplant where sorted Ing4-/- LT-HSCs failed to engraft. Following myeloablative insult, we found no significant change in Ing4-/- LT-HSC (-1.18%) when compared with ST-HSC (-14.43%) indicating reduced sensitivity to 5-FU ablation in the Ing4-/- LT-HSC group. Cell cycle analysis identified 92.9% of Ing4-/- LT-HSCs are in G0 compared to 76.2% of wildtype LT-HSCs. ST-HSCs were also more quiescent with 27% of Ing4-/- ST-HSCs in G0 compared to 11.1% of wildtype ST-HSCs. Previously published work reports hyper proliferative HSCs that exhibit loss of quiescence as a result of proinflammatory NF-kB signaling. We believe that the interaction between Ing4 and the HIF-1a pathway may play a role in the observed phenotype of Ing4-/- LT-HSCs resulting in increased quiescence and disruption of the balance between self-renewal and differentiation critical to reconstitution of the hematopoietic compartment. Overall, our findings suggest that the regulatory effects of Ing4 play a crucial role in hematopoiesis and provides key tools for further identification and characterization of Ing4 pathways and functions.

Disclosures: Zon: CAMP4 Therapeutics: Current equity holder in private company, Other: Founder; Fate Therapeutics: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Other: Founder; Scholar Rock: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Other: Founder; Amagma Therapeutics: Current equity holder in private company, Other: Founder; Cellarity: Consultancy; Celularity: Consultancy.

*signifies non-member of ASH