MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are pivotal for regulation of hematopoiesis but their critical targets remain largely unknown. Here, we show that ectopic expression of miR-17, -20,-93 and -106, all AAAGUGC seed-containing miRNAs, increases proliferation, colony outgrowth and replating capacity of myeloid progenitors and results in enhanced P-ERK levels. We found that these miRNAs are endogenously and abundantly expressed in myeloid progenitors and down-regulated in mature neutrophils. Quantitative proteomics identified sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), an ubiquitin-binding protein and regulator of autophagy-mediated protein degradation, as a major target for these miRNAs in myeloid progenitors. In addition, we found increased expression of Sqstm1 transcripts during CSF3-induced neutrophil differentiation of 32D-CSF3R cells and an inverse correlation of SQSTM1 protein levels and miR-106 expression in AML samples. ShRNA-mediated silencing of Sqstm1 phenocopied the effects of ectopic miR-17/20/93/106 expression in hematopoietic progenitors in vitro and in mice. Further, SQSTM1 binds to the ligand-activated colony-stimulating factor 3 receptor (CSF3R) mainly in the late endosomal compartment, but not in LC3 positive autophagosomes. SQSTM1 regulates CSF3R stability and ligand-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. We demonstrate that AAAGUGC seed-containing miRNAs promote cell expansion, replating capacity and signaling in hematopoietic cells by interference with SQSTM1-regulated pathways.

doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-02-336487, hdl.handle.net/1765/31277
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Meenhuis, A., van Veelen, P., de Looper, H., van Boxtel, N., van den Berge, I., Sun, S. M., … Erkeland, S. (2011). MiR-17/20/93/106 promote hematopoietic cell expansion by targeting sequestosome 1-regulated pathways in mice. Blood, 118(4), 916–925. doi:10.1182/blood-2011-02-336487