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Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Dec;33(24):4824-33. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01076-13. Epub 2013 Oct 7.

Tgif1 regulates quiescence and self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells.

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Departments of Pediatrics.


TG-interacting factor 1 (TGIF1) is a transcriptional repressor that can modulate retinoic acid and transforming growth factor β signaling pathways. It is required for myeloid progenitor cell differentiation and survival, and mutations in the TGIF1 gene cause holoprosencephaly. Furthermore, we have previously observed that acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients with low TGIF1 levels had worse prognoses. Here, we explored the role of Tgif1 in murine hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function. CFU assays showed that Tgif1(-/-) bone marrow cells produced more total colonies and had higher serial CFU potential. These effects were also observed in vivo, where Tgif1(-/-) bone marrow cells had higher repopulation potential in short- and long-term competitive repopulation assays than wild-type cells. Serial transplantation and replating studies showed that Tgif1(-/-) HSCs exhibited greater self-renewal and were less proliferative and more quiescent than wild-type cells, suggesting that Tgif1 is required for stem cells to enter the cell cycle. Furthermore, HSCs from Tgif1(+/-) mice had a phenotype similar to that of HSCs from Tgif1(-/-) mice, while bone marrow cells with overexpressing Tgif1 showed increased proliferation and lower survival in long-term transplant studies. Taken together, our data suggest that Tgif1 suppresses stem cell self-renewal and provide clues as to how reduced expression of TGIF1 may contribute to poor long-term survival in patients with AML.

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