Despite progress in identifying the cellular composition of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) niches, little is known about the molecular requirements of HSPC support. To address this issue, we used a panel of six recognized HSPC-supportive stromal lines and less-supportive counterparts originating from embryonic and adult hematopoietic sites. Through comprehensive transcriptomic meta-analyses, we identified 481 mRNAs and 17 microRNAs organized in a modular network implicated in paracrine signaling. Further inclusion of 18 additional cell strains demonstrated that this mRNA subset was predictive of HSPC support. Our gene set contains most known HSPC regulators as well as a number of unexpected ones, such as Pax9 and Ccdc80, as validated by functional studies in zebrafish embryos. In sum, our approach has identified the core molecular network required for HSPC support. These cues, along with a searchable web resource, will inform ongoing efforts to instruct HSPC ex vivo amplification and formation from pluripotent precursors.,
Cell Stem Cell
Biophysical Genomics, Department Cell Biology & Genetics

Charbord, P., Pouget, E., Binder, H., Dumont, F., Stik, G., Levy, P., … Durand, C. (2014). A Systems Biology Approach for Defining the Molecular Framework of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche. Cell Stem Cell. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2014.06.005