MRTF-SRF signaling is required for seeding of HSC/Ps in bone marrow during development

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Chemokine signaling is important for the seeding of different sites by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during development. Serum response factor (SRF) controls multiple genes governing adhesion and migration, mainly by recruiting members of the myocardin-related transcription factor (MRTF) family of G-actin-regulated cofactors. We used vav-iCre to inactivate MRTF-SRF signaling early during hematopoietic development. In both Srf- and Mrtf-deleted animals, hematopoiesis in fetal liver and spleen is intact but does not become established in fetal bone marrow. Srf-null HSC progenitor cells (HSC/Ps) fail to effectively engraft in transplantation experiments, exhibiting normal proximal signaling responses to SDF-1, but reduced adhesiveness, F-actin assembly, and reduced motility. Srf-null HSC/Ps fail to polarize in response to SDF-1 and cannot migrate through restrictive membrane pores to SDF-1 or Scf in vitro. Mrtf-null HSC/Ps were also defective in chemotactic responses to SDF-1. Srf-null HSC/Ps exhibit substantial deficits in cytoskeletal gene expression. MRTF-SRF signaling is thus critical for expression of genes required for the response to chemokine signaling during hematopoietic development.

Journal details

Journal Blood
Volume 125
Issue number 8
Pages 1244-1255
Available online
Publication date