Research Papers:

Stat5 deficiency decreases transcriptional heterogeneity and supports emergence of hematopoietic sub-populations

Zhengqi Wang and Kevin D. Bunting _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:22477-22482. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15236

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Zhengqi Wang1 and Kevin D. Bunting1

1 Department of Pediatrics, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Correspondence to:

Kevin D. Bunting, email:

Keywords: hematopoiesis, transcription factor, single-cell gene expression analysis, transcriptional heterogeneity, leukemogenesis

Received: January 21, 2017 Accepted: January 25, 2017 Published: February 09, 2017


Aging is associated with significant changes in hematopoiesis, including clonal dominance, anemia, myeloid malignancies, and reduced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5). In previous studies, Stat5 deletion surprisingly amplified FLT3/ITD+ myeloid expansion or Myc-driven lymphoid expansion. Here we show that Stat5 deficiency has a strong impact upon transcriptional heterogeneity in single sorted c-Kit+Lin-Sca-1+ (KLS) cells or CD150+CD48- KLS long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC). Single cell polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on selected regulators of multi-lineage hematopoiesis. At least two dominant sub-populations were identified by increased expression of cell cycle regulatory and leukemia-associated genes. Furthermore, in the top expressing quartile of cells, the majority of genes were proportionally overrepresented. In wild-type KLS cells, Stat5 mRNA levels were also strongly correlated with several genes. Since heterogeneity decreases with age or inflammatory or oncogenic stress, these results provide a potential mechanistic linkage to Stat5 expression.

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