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Excessive erythrocytosis (EE) is a characteristic of chronic mountain sickness (CMS). Currently, the pathogenesis of CMS remains unclear. This study was intended to investigate the role of EPAS1 in the proliferation of erythroblasts in CMS. Changes of HIF-1α and EPAS1/HIF-2α in the bone marrow erythroblasts of 21 patients with CMS and 14 control subjects residing at the same altitudes were determined by RT-qPCR and western blotting. We also developed a lentiviral vector, Lv-EPAS1/sh-EPAS1, to over-express/silence EPAS1 in K562 cells. Cells cycle and proliferation were detected by flow cytometry. Transcriptome analyses were carried out on Illumina. CMS patients showed a higher expression of EPAS1/HIF-2α in the bone marrow erythroblasts than those of controls. Variations in EPAS1 expression in CMS patients were positively correlated with RBC levels, and negatively correlated with SaO2. Over-expressing of EPAS1 in K562 cells accelerated the erythroid cells cycle progression and promoted the erythroid cells proliferation-and vice versa. Transcriptome data indicated that proliferation-related DEGs were significantly enriched in EPAS1 overexpression/silencing K562 cells. Our results suggest that EPAS1 might participate in the pathogenesis of EE by regulating the proliferation of erythroblasts. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Huihui Liu, Feng Tang, Juan Su, Jie Ma, Yajing Qin, Linhua Ji, Hui Geng, Shengyan Wang, Peili Zhang, Junli Liu, Sen Cui, Ri-Li Ge, Zhanquan Li. EPAS1 regulates proliferation of erythroblasts in chronic mountain sickness. Blood cells, molecules & diseases. 2020 Sep;84:102446

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PMID: 32470757

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