Previous studies have supported a critical role for specific miRNA in regulating hematopoiesis. However the relative abundance and specificity for most miRNAs remains to be investigated, and the role of expressed miRNA in regulating cell fate and function remains poorly understood. Using microRNA microarrays we identified increased expression of miR-486 in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) compared to normal CD34+ cells. miR-486 is located within the last intron of the Ankyrin-1 gene on chromosome 8 and is reported to be enriched in muscle cells. The expression pattern of miR-486 in hematopoietic cells and its roles in hematopoietic regulation are not known. In CB cells, miR-486 expression level was highest in MEP and was low in HSC. There was 16-fold increased expression of miR-486 during in vitro erythroid differentiation of CB Lin-CD34+CD38– cells, associated with 5-fold increase in Ankyrin-1 gene expression. To explore the role of miR-486 in growth and differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC), we first expressed hsa-miR-486-5p in CB CD34+ cells using lentiviral vectors. CB CD34+ cells transduced with this vector demonstrated 2–3 fold increased expression of miRNA-486-5p compared to cells transduced with a control vector (Ctrl). CB CD34+ cells expressing miR-486-5p generated modestly increased numbers of cells (1.22 fold) in culture with SCF, IL-3, GM-CSF, G-CSF and EPO for 6 days. Increased numbers of erythroid cells and reduced numbers of myeloid cells were generated in culture (GPA+ cells: Ctrl 58% and miR-486-5p 72.2%; CD33+ cells: Ctrl 30.7% and miR-486-5p 21.9%;, CD11b cells: Ctrl 33.5% and miR-486-5p 21.5%). To further investigate the effect of inhibition of miR-486-5p on growth and differentiation of HSPC, we inhibited miR-486 expression in CB CD34+ cells using a modified miRZip anti-miRNA lentivirus vectors (SBI) expressing anti-miR-486-5p and compared to cells expressing a control scrambled anti-miRNA sequence. Anti-miR-486-5p expressing CB CD34+ cells generated reduced number of cells in growth factor (GF) culture (67.5% inhibition) compared to controls. Greater inhibition of erythroid compared to myeloid cells was seen (GPA+ cells: 62.5% inhibition; CD33+ cells: 37.1% inhibition compared to controls at day 6). Anti-miR-486-5p expressing CB CD34+ cells also demonstrated reduced colony formation (BFU-E: 67% inhibition;, CFU-GM 16% inhibition), and reduced proliferation (43.88% inhibition of proliferation index) compared to controls. Similar results were observed with CB Lin-CD34+CD38- cells transduced with anti-486-5p virus (GPA+ cells: 67% inhibition; CD33+ cells: 30 % inhibition). The number of CD34+ cells was however maintained after culture (117% for miR-486-5p compared to scramble). These results indicate an important role for miR-486-5p in preservation, proliferation and erythroid differentiation of HSC. A search for evolutionarily conserved miR-486-5p targets using Targetscan 5.1 identified Foxo1, a member of the Foxo subfamily of forkhead transcription factors which play negative regulatory roles in hematopoiesis, as the highest ranking target. To demonstrate that Foxo1 is a direct target of miR-486-5p, we generated pMIR-REPORT™ constructs containing two miR-486-5p seed sites (182 and 658) within the Foxo1 3′-UTR. These constructs were cotransfected into HEK293T cells along with a miR-486-5p expression plasmid or empty control vector. Expression of miR-486-5p resulted in a 65% reduction in luciferase activity. Expression of anti-miR-486-5p resulted in increased Foxo1 protein expression in CB CD34+ cells. Expression of miR-486-5p also resulted in 50% decrease of Foxo1 protein expression. Using a Fas-L promoter-luciferase reporter we found that inhibition of miR486-5p increased Foxo1 transactivation activity in HEK293T cells. These results demonstrate that Foxo1 is a direct target of miR-486-5p. We conclude that miR-486-5p expression is modulated during normal hematopoietic differentiation and in leukemic hematopoiesis. Our results indicate a regulatory role for miR-486-5p in the growth hematopoietic stem cells and their erythroid differentiation. We show that miR-486-5p directly inhibits Foxo1 expression, which may potentially play an important role in its hematopoietic regulatory function.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.