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Bone marrow engraftment of the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) involves homing to the vasculatures and lodgment to their niches. How HSPCs transmigrate from the vasculature to the niches is unclear. Here, we show that loss of diaphanous-related formin mDia2 leads to impaired engraftment of long-term hematopoietic stem cells and loss of competitive HSPC repopulation. These defects are likely due to the compromised trans-endothelial migration of HSPCs since their homing to the bone marrow vasculatures remained intact. Mechanistically, loss of mDia2 disrupts HSPC polarization and induced cytoplasmic accumulation of MAL, which deregulates the activity of serum response factor (SRF). We further reveal that beta2 integrins are transcriptional targets of SRF. Knockout of beta2 integrins in HSPCs phenocopies mDia2 deficient mice. Overexpression of SRF or beta2 integrins rescues HSPC engraftment defects associated with mDia2 deficiency. Our findings show that mDia2-SRF-beta2 integrin signaling is critical for HSPC lodgment to the niches.


Yang Mei, Xu Han, Yijie Liu, Jing Yang, Ronen Sumagin, Peng Ji. Diaphanous-related formin mDia2 regulates beta2 integrins to control hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell engraftment. Nature communications. 2020 Jun 23;11(1):3172

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PMID: 32576838

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