Genetic rescue of lineage-balanced blood cell production reveals a crucial role for STAT3 antiinflammatory activity in hematopoiesis

Huiyuan Zhang, Haiyan Li, Emily J. Hillmer, Yang Zhao, Taylor T. Chrisikos, Hongbo Hu, Xiao Wu, Erika J. Thompson, Karen Clise-Dwyer, Karen A. Millerchip, Yue Wei, Nahum Puebla-Osorio, Saakshi Kaushik, Margarida A. Santos, Bin Wang, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Jing Wang, Shao Cong Sun, Stephanie S. Watowich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Blood cell formation must be appropriately maintained throughout life to provide robust immune function, hemostasis, and oxygen delivery to tissues, and to prevent disorders that result from over- or underproduction of critical lineages. Persistent inflammation deregulates hematopoiesis by damaging hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), leading to elevated myeloid cell output and eventual bone marrow failure. Nonetheless, antiinflammatory mechanisms that protect the hematopoietic system are understudied. The transcriptional regulator STAT3 has myriad roles in HSPC-derived populations and nonhematopoietic tissues, including a potent antiinflammatory function in differentiated myeloid cells. STAT3 antiinflammatory activity is facilitated by STAT3-mediated transcriptional repression of Ube2n, which encodes the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc13 involved in proinflammatory signaling. Here we demonstrate a crucial role for STAT3 antiinflammatory activity in preservation of HSPCs and lineage-balanced hematopoiesis. Conditional Stat3 removal from the hematopoietic system led to depletion of the bone marrow lineage Sca-1+ c-Kit+ CD150+ CD48 HSPC subset (LSK CD150+ CD48 cells), myeloid-skewed hematopoiesis, and accrual of DNA damage in HSPCs. These responses were accompanied by intrinsic transcriptional alterations in HSPCs, including deregulation of inflammatory, survival and developmental pathways. Concomitant Ube2n/Ubc13 deletion from Stat3-deficient hematopoietic cells enabled lineage-balanced hematopoiesis, mitigated depletion of bone marrow LSK CD150+ CD48 cells, alleviated HSPC DNA damage, and corrected a majority of aberrant transcriptional responses. These results indicate an intrinsic protective role for STAT3 in the hematopoietic system, and suggest that this is mediated by STAT3-dependent restraint of excessive proinflammatory signaling via Ubc13 modulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2311-E2319
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 6 2018


  • Hematopoiesis
  • Inflammation
  • STAT3
  • Ubc13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

MD Anderson CCSG core facilities

  • Advanced Technology Genomics Core
  • Bioinformatics Shared Resource


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