The cooperation of stem cell factor (SCF) and erythropoietin (Epo) is required to induce renewal divisions in erythroid progenitors, whereas differentiation to mature erythrocytes requires the presence of Epo only. Epo and SCF activate common signaling pathways such as the activation of protein kinase B (PKB) and the subsequent phosphorylation and inactivation of Foxo3a. In contrast, only Epo activates Stat5. Both Foxo3a and Stat5 promote erythroid differentiation. To understand the interplay of SCF and Epo in maintaining the balance between renewal and differentiation during erythroid development, we investigated differential Foxo3a target regulation by Epo and SCF. Expression profiling revealed that a subset of Foxo3a targets was not inhibited but was activated by Epo. One of these genes was Cited2. Transcriptional control of Epo/Foxo3a-induced Cited2 was studied and compared with that of the Epo-repressed Foxo3a target Btg1. We show that in response to Epo, the allegedly growth-inhibitory factor Foxo3a associates with the allegedly growth-stimulatory factor Stat5 in the nucleus, which is required for Epo-induced Cited2 expression. In contrast, Btg1 expression is controlled by the cooperation of Foxo3a with cyclic AMP- and Jun kinase-dependent Creb family members. Thus, Foxo3a not only is an effector of PKB but also integrates distinct signals to regulate gene expression in erythropoiesis. Copyright,
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bakker, W. J., van Bijk, T., Parren-Van Amelsvoort, M., Kolbus, A., Yamamoto, K., Steinlein, P., … von Lindern, M. (2007). Differential regulation of Foxo3a target genes in erythropoiesis. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 27(10), 3839–3854. doi:10.1128/MCB.01662-06