C/EBPα is required for the formation of granulocyte-monocyte progenitors; however, its role in subsequent myeloid lineage specification remains uncertain. Transduction of murine marrow with either of two Cebpa shRNAs markedly increases monocyte and reduces granulocyte colonies in methylcellulose or the monocyte to neutrophil ratio in liquid culture. Similar findings were found after marrow shRNA transduction and transplantation and with CEBPA knockdown in human marrow CD34+ cells. These results apparently reflect altered myeloid lineage specification, as similar knockdown allowed nearly complete 32Dcl3 granulocytic maturation. Cebpa knockdown also generated lineage-negative blasts with increased colony replating capacity but unchanged cell cycle parameters, likely reflecting complete differentiation block. The shRNA having the greatest effect on lineage skewing reduced Cebpa 3-fold in differentiating cells but 6-fold in accumulating blasts. Indicating that Cebpa is the relevant shRNA target, shRNA-resistant C/EBPα-ER rescued marrow myelopoiesis. Cebpa knockdown in murine marrow cells also increased in vitro erythropoiesis, perhaps reflecting 1.6-fold reduction in PU.1 leading to GATA-1 derepression. Global gene expression analysis of lineage-negative blasts that accumulate after Cebpa knockdown demonstrated reduction in Cebpe and Gfi1, known transcriptional regulators of granulopoiesis, and also reduced Ets1 and Klf5. Populations enriched for immature granulocyte or monocyte progenitor/precursors were isolated by sorting Lin-Sca-1 -c-Kit+ cells into GCSFR+MCSFR- or GCSFR2MCSFR+ subsets. Cebpa, Cebpe, Gfi1, Ets1, and Klf5 RNAs were increased in the c-Kit +GCSFR+ and Klf4 and Irf8 in the c-Kit +MCSFR+ populations, with PU.1 levels similar in both. In summary, higher levels of C/EBPα are required for granulocyte and lower levels for monocyte lineage specification, and this myeloid bifurcation may be facilitated by increased Cebpa gene expression in granulocyte compared with monocyte progenitors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)