PDCD2 knockdown inhibits erythroid but not megakaryocytic lineage differentiation of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells

Kokorina, N.A.; Granier, C.J.; Zakharkin, S.O.; Davis, S.; Rabson, A.B.; Sabaawy, H.E.

Experimental Hematology 40(12): 1028-1042.E3


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-2399
PMID: 22922207
DOI: 10.1016/j.exphem.2012.08.004
Accession: 036552861

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Programmed cell death-2 (PDCD2) protein is enriched in embryonic, hematopoietic, and neural stem cells, however, its function in stem/progenitor cell differentiation is unclear. We investigated the effects of PDCD2 knockdown on the development and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). CD34(+) cells derived from normal human bone marrow and K562 leukemic cells were effectively transduced with short-hairpin RNA to knockdown PDCD2. Colony-forming assays were used to investigate the effects of PDCD2 loss on HPC clonogenic potential and on 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-and arabinofuranosylcytosine-induced terminal differentiation. In CD34(+) clonogenic progenitors, PDCD2 knockdown decreased the total number of colony-forming units, increased the number of colony-forming units-granulocyte-erythroid-macrophage-megakaryocyte and burst-forming unit-erythroid primitive colonies, and decreased the number of burst-forming unit-erythroid mature colonies. Similar results were observed in K562 cells, suggesting that PDCD2 is important for HPC differentiation and/or survival, and for erythroid lineage commitment. Furthermore, 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced megakaryocytic differentiation and proliferation of K562 cells was not affected by PDCD2 knockdown. In contrast, arabinofuranosylcytosine-induced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells was significantly reduced with PDCD2 knockdown, with no effect on cell proliferation. The effects of PDCD2 knockdown were attributed to a cell cycle arrest at G(0)/G(1), along with increased messenger RNA expression of early progenitor factors c-MYB and GATA-2, and decreased expression of erythroid factors GATA-1, EpoR, and γ-globin. We conclude that PDCD2 loss of function(s) impedes erythroid differentiation by inducing cell cycle arrest and increasing expression of early hematopoietic progenitor factors. These findings suggest that PDCD2 has a novel regulatory role in human hematopoiesis and is essential for erythroid development.