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MicroRNA-132 is a Physiological Regulator of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function and B-cell Development


Mehta, Arnav (2015) MicroRNA-132 is a Physiological Regulator of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function and B-cell Development. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9XS5SBD.


MicroRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression. Several microRNAs have been implicated in altering hematopoietic cell fate decisions. Importantly, deregulation of many microRNAs can lead to deleterious consequences in the hematopoietic system, including the onset of cancer, autoimmunity, or a failure to respond effectively to infection. As such, microRNAs fine-tune the balance between normal hematopoietic output and pathologic consequences. In this work, we explore the role of two microRNAs, miR-132 and miR-125b, in regulating hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function and B cell development. In particular, we uncover the role of miR-132 in maintaining the appropriate balance between self-renewal, differentiation, and survival in aging HSCs by buffering the expression of a critical transcription factor, FOXO3. By maintain this balance, miR-132 may play a critical role in preventing aging-associated hematopoietic conditions such as autoimmune disease and cancer. We also find that miR-132 plays a critical role in B cell development by targeting a key transcription factor, Sox4, that is responsible for the differentiation of pro-B cells into pre-B cells. We find that miR-132 regulates B cell apoptosis, and by delivering miR-132 to mice that are predisposed to developing B cell cancers, we can inhibit the formation of these cancers and improve the survival of these mice. In addition to miR-132, we uncovered the role of another critical microRNA, miR-125b, that potentiates hematopoietic stem cell function. We found that enforced expression of miR-125b causes an aggressive myeloid leukemia by downregulation of its target Lin28a. Importantly, miR-125b also plays a critical role in inhibiting the formation of pro-B cells. Thus, we have discovered two microRNAs with important roles in regulating normal hematopoiesis, and whose dregulation can lead to deleterious consequences such as cancer in the aging hematopoietic system. Both miR-132 and miR-125b may therefore be targeted for therapeutics to inhibit age-related immune diseases associated with the loss of HSC function and cancer progression.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:microRNA-132, hematopoietic stem cell, B cell, FOXO3, SOX4
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Immunology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Baltimore, David L.
Thesis Committee:
  • Mazmanian, Sarkis K. (chair)
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V.
  • Guttman, Mitchell
  • Baltimore, David L.
Defense Date:24 March 2015
Non-Caltech Author Email:nawi214 (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03252015-144135628
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for ch. 4 in Appendix
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8804
Deposited By: Arnav Mehta
Deposited On:15 Apr 2015 21:50
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:07

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