BIGH3 modulates adhesion and migration of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells

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Abstract

Cell adhesion and migration are important determinants of homing and development of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in bone marrow (BM) niches. The extracellular matrix protein transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) inducible gene H3 (BIGH3) is involved in adhesion and migration, although the effect of BIGH3 is highly cell type-dependent. BIGH3 is abundantly expressed by mesenchymal stromal cells, while its expression in HSPCs is relatively low unless induced by certain BM stressors. Here, we set out to determine how BIGH3 modulates HSPC adhesion and migration. We show that primary HSPCs adhere to BIGH3-coated substrates, which is, in part, integrin-dependent. Overexpression of BIGH3 in HSPCs and HL60 cells reduced the adhesion to the substrate fibronectin in adhesion assays, which was even more profound in electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) assays. Accordingly, the CXCL12 induced migration over fibronectin-coated surface was reduced in BIGH3-expressing HSPCs. The integrin expression profile of HSPCs was not altered upon BIGH3 expression. Although expression of BIGH3 did not alter actin polymerization in response to CXCL12, it inhibited the PMA-induced activation of the small GTPase RAC1 as well as the phosphorylation and activation of extracellular-regulated kinases (ERKs). Reduced activation of ERK and RAC1 may be responsible for the inhibition of cell adhesion and migration by BIGH3 in HSPCs. Induced BIGH3 expression upon BM stress may contribute to the regulation of BM homeostasis.

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