PDCD2 knockdown inhibits erythroid but not megakaryocytic lineage differentiation of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells

Natalia A. Kokorina, Celine J. Granier, Stanislav O. Zakharkin, Stephani Davis, Arnold B. Rabson, Hatem E. Sabaawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Programmed cell death-2 (PDCD2) protein is enriched in embryonic, hematopoietic, and neural stem cells, however, its function in stem/progenitor cell differentiation is unclear. We investigated the effects of PDCD2 knockdown on the development and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). CD34+ cells derived from normal human bone marrow and K562 leukemic cells were effectively transduced with short-hairpin RNA to knockdown PDCD2. Colony-forming assays were used to investigate the effects of PDCD2 loss on HPC clonogenic potential and on 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-and arabinofuranosylcytosine-induced terminal differentiation. In CD34+ clonogenic progenitors, PDCD2 knockdown decreased the total number of colony-forming units, increased the number of colony-forming units-granulocyte-erythroid-macrophage-megakaryocyte and burst-forming unit-erythroid primitive colonies, and decreased the number of burst-forming unit-erythroid mature colonies. Similar results were observed in K562 cells, suggesting that PDCD2 is important for HPC differentiation and/or survival, and for erythroid lineage commitment. Furthermore, 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced megakaryocytic differentiation and proliferation of K562 cells was not affected by PDCD2 knockdown. In contrast, arabinofuranosylcytosine-induced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells was significantly reduced with PDCD2 knockdown, with no effect on cell proliferation. The effects of PDCD2 knockdown were attributed to a cell cycle arrest at G0/G1, along with increased messenger RNA expression of early progenitor factors c-MYB and GATA-2, and decreased expression of erythroid factors GATA-1, EpoR, and γ-globin. We conclude that PDCD2 loss of function(s) impedes erythroid differentiation by inducing cell cycle arrest and increasing expression of early hematopoietic progenitor factors. These findings suggest that PDCD2 has a novel regulatory role in human hematopoiesis and is essential for erythroid development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1042.e3
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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