The EMT regulator Zeb2/Sip1 is essential for murine embryonic hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell differentiation and mobilization

Steven Goossens, Viktor Janzen, Sonia Bartunkova, Tomomasa Yokomizo, Benjamin Drogat, Mihaela Crisan, Katharina Haigh, Eve Seuntjens, Lieve Umans, Tamara Riedt, Pieter Bogaert, Lieven Haenebalcke, Geert Berx, Elaine Dzierzak, Danny Huylebroeck, Jody J Haigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Zeb2 (Sip1/Zfhx1b) is a member of the zinc-finger E-box-binding (ZEB) family of transcriptional repressors previously demonstrated to regulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) processes during embryogenesis and tumor progression. We found high Zeb2 mRNA expression levels in HSCs and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs), and examined Zeb2 function in hematopoiesis through a conditional deletion approach using the Tie2-Cre and Vav-iCre recombination mouse lines. Detailed cellular analysis demonstrated that Zeb2 is dispensable for hematopoietic cluster and HSC formation in the aorta-gonadomesonephros region of the embryo, but is essential for normal HSC/HPC differentiation. In addition, Zeb2-deficient HSCs/HPCs fail to properly colonize the fetal liver and/or bone marrow and show enhanced adhesive properties associated with increased β1 integrin and Cxcr4 expression. Moreover, deletion of Zeb2 resulted in embryonic (Tie2-Cre) and perinatal (Vav-icre) lethality due to severe cephalic hemorrhaging and decreased levels of angiopoietin-1 and, subsequently, improper pericyte coverage of the cephalic vasculature. These results reveal essential roles for Zeb2 in embryonic hematopoiesis and are suggestive of a role for Zeb2 in hematopoietic-related pathologies in the adult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5620-30
Number of pages11
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Cadherins
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Integrases
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Zinc Fingers


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