We recently defined a critical role for p53 in regulating the quiescence of adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and identified necdin as a candidate p53 target gene. Necdin is a growth-suppressing protein and the gene encoding it is one of several that are deleted in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. To define the intrinsic role of necdin in adult hematopoiesis, in the present study, we transplanted necdin-null fetal liver cells into lethally irradiated recipients. We show that necdin-null adult HSCs are less quiescent and more proliferative than normal HSCs, demonstrating the similar role of necdin and p53 in promoting HSC quiescence during steady-state conditions. However, wild-type recipients repopulated with necdin-null hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells show enhanced sensitivity to irradiation and chemotherapy, with increased p53-dependent apoptosis, myelosuppression, and mortality. Necdin controls the HSC response to genotoxic stress via both cell-cycle-dependent and cell-cycle-independent mechanisms, with the latter occurring in a Gas2L3-dependent manner.We conclude that necdin functions as a molecular switch in adult hematopoiesis, acting in a p53-like manner to promote HSC quiescence in the steady state, but suppressing p53-dependent apoptosis in response to genotoxic stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology