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The functional impact of integrin expression in erythropoiesis has been previously emphasized through its decisive influence on erythroid cell-microenvironment (matrix and cellular) interactions, especially under conditions of stress. Beyond that, in several in vitro studies the relationship between the two erythroid integrins, α4 and α5, has been incongruous in terms of a proliferative support, either synergistic or antagonistic, whereas a dominant influence of α4 integrin on terminal erythropoiesis in vitro and in vivo has been consistently emphasized. However, the specific cellular and molecular details of this effect have not been defined, especially for human cells. In the study described here, we cultured human CD34+ progenitor cells with induced deficiency of α4 integrin (shRNAα4) under erythroid differentiation conditions, in which expanded erythroid progenitor cells are directed to terminal erythroid maturation stages in the absence of any microenvironmental influence. Our data indicate that early proliferative expansion in cells lacking α4 expression is significantly limited, but although erythroid cell differentiation can proceed normally to terminal stages, their enucleation is drastically impaired. This novel aspect of α4 integrin participation in the enucleation process in vitro resonates on the lack of in vivo enucleation of primitive erythroid cells lacking any integrin expression but affecting adult cells only under stress conditions. Copyright © 2022 ISEH -- Society for Hematology and Stem Cells. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Tatyana Ulyanova, Jennifer M Cherone, Pavel Sova, Thalia Papayannopoulou. α4-Integrin deficiency in human CD34+ cells engenders precocious erythroid differentiation but inhibits enucleation. Experimental hematology. 2022 Apr;108:16-25

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PMID: 35227527

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