PLAG1 and USF2 Co-regulate Expression of Musashi-2 in Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
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MSI2, which is expressed predominantly in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), enforces HSPC expansion when overexpressed and is upregulated in myeloid leukemias, indicating its regulated transcription is critical to balanced self-renewal and leukemia restraint. Despite this, little is understood of the factors that enforce appropriate physiological levels of MSI2 in the blood system. Here, we define a promoter region that reports on endogenous expression of MSI2 and identify USF2 and PLAG1 as transcription factors whose promoter binding drives reporter activity. We show that these factors co-regulate, and are required for, efficient transactivation of endogenous MSI2. Coincident overexpression of USF2 and PLAG1 in primitive cord blood cells enhanced MSI2 transcription and yielded cellular phenotypes, including expansion of CD34+ cells in vitro, consistent with that achieved by direct MSI2 overexpression. Global chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing analyses confirm a preferential co-binding of PLAG1 and USF2 at the promoter of MSI2, as well as regulatory regions corresponding to genes with roles in HSPC homeostasis. PLAG1 and USF2 cooperation is thus an important contributor to stem cell-specific expression of MSI2 and HSPC-specific transcriptional circuitry.
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