Putative Role of Nuclear Factor-Kappa B But Not Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α in Hypoxia-Dependent Regulation of Oxidative Stress in Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

Camilla Halvarsson, Emma Rörby, Pernilla Eliasson, Stefan Lang, Shamit Soneji, Jan-Ingvar Jönsson
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 2019 April 10

AIMS: Adaptation to low oxygen of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow has been demonstrated to depend on the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α as well as the limited production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, we aimed at determining whether HIF-1α is involved in protecting HSCs from ROS.

RESULTS: Oxidative stress was induced by DL-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO)-treatment, which increases the mitochondrial ROS level. Hypoxia rescued Lineage-Sca-1+ c-kit+ (LSK) cells from BSO-induced apoptosis, whereas cells succumbed to apoptosis in normoxia. Apoptosis in normoxia was inhibited with the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine or by overexpression of anti-apoptotic BCL-2. Moreover, stabilized expression of oxygen-insensitive HIFs could not protect LSK cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis at normoxia, neither could short hairpin RNA to Hif-1α inhibit the protective effects by hypoxia in LSK cells. Likewise, BSO treatment of LSK cells from Hif-1α knockout mice did not suppress the effects seen in hypoxia. Microarray analysis identified the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway as a pathway induced by hypoxia. By using NF-κB lentiviral construct and DNA-binding assay, we found increased NF-κB activity in cells cultured in hypoxia compared with normoxia. Using an inhibitor against NF-κB activation, we could confirm the involvement of NF-κB signaling as BSO-mediated cell death was significantly increased in hypoxia after adding the inhibitor.

INNOVATION: HIF-1α is not involved in protecting HSCs and progenitors to elevated levels of ROS on glutathione depletion during hypoxic conditions.

CONCLUSION: The study proposes a putative role of NF-κB signaling as a hypoxia-induced regulator in early hematopoietic cells.

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